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Keywords:

  • chimpanzee;
  • reproduction;
  • menopause;
  • fetus;
  • parity;
  • maternal age

Abstract

As early as the 1970s, it was suggested that nonhuman primates may serve as models of human reproductive senescence. In the present study, the reproductive outcomes of 1,255 pregnancies in captive chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) were examined in relation to parity and its covariate, maternal age. The results show that the percentage of positive pregnancy outcomes was negatively correlated with increasing parity. In addition, spontaneous abortions, stillbirths, and caesarian sections (C-sections) were positively correlated with increasing parity. Maternal age, rather than parity, was found to be the most important predictor of negative birth outcome. This study supports research demonstrating reproductive decline and termination in nonhuman primates, and is the first to quantitatively account for this phenomenon in captive female chimpanzees. Am. J. Primatol. 67:199–207, 2005. © 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.