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Keywords:

  • food sharing;
  • vocalizations;
  • chimpanzee;
  • Pan troglodytes

Abstract

Although food sharing is a habitual aspect of chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) life, sharing of plant foods between unrelated adults is rare. Observations of such behavior have typically been interpreted as the outcome of a process by which individuals that are otherwise unable to gain access to the food manage to obtain a nutritional benefit. Here we present behavioral details and an acoustic analysis regarding an observation of food sharing between unrelated adult wild chimpanzees that we suggest cannot be explained using traditional nutrition-based models. Instead we propose that the exchange is only understandable as a socially important event, and we cite two further observations in the same population that support this suggestion. Am. J. Primatol. 65:385–391, 2005. © 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.