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Keywords:

  • Pan troglodytes;
  • ano-genital swelling;
  • aggression;
  • sexuality

Abstract

This study examined the relationships between male agonistic, affiliative, and sexual behaviors and female estrus condition in captive adolescent and young-adult chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). Data on agonistic, affiliative, and sexual behaviors of 11 males living in three social groups were collected during daily 45 minute observations over a 5 month period. Female estrus condition was assessed daily using the relative size of the female's ano-genital swelling. It was hypothesized that the presence of maximally tumescent females would generate conflicts between males, so an increase in inter-male agonism was predicted. Males exhibited higher rates of agonism toward other males when at least one female in the group was maximally tumescent. Male affiliative behavior directed toward other males and social play with males were affected by the presence and number of maximally tumescent females. Male sexual behavior increased when maximally tumescent females were present.