Sex differences in adult chimpanzee positional behavior: The influence of body size on locomotion and posture


  • Diane M. Doran

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Anatomical Sciences, State University of New York at Stony Brook, Stony Brook, New York 11794
    • Department of Biological Anthropology and Anatomy, Duke University, Wheeler Bldg. 3705B Erwin Road, Durham, NC 27705
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Focal animal instantaneous sampling of adult male and female chimpanzee positional behavior was conducted during a 7-month study in the Tai Forest, Ivory Coast, in order to determine whether there are sex differences in the locomotion, posture, substrate use, and height preference of sexually dimorphic adult chimpanzees, and if so, whether these differences support predictions based on body size differences. Results indicate that as predicted, adult male and female chimpanzees differ in their arboreal locomotor behavior, with the larger males using less quadrupedalism and more climbing, scrambling, and aided bipedalism than females during feeding locomotion. There is a sex difference in height preference as well, with female chimpanzees consistently using more arboreal behavior than males, primarily during resting. Although it has been previously demonstrated that separate primate species of differing body size differ in locomotor and postural activities (Fleagle and Mittermeier, 1980; Crompton, 1984), this study clearly demonstrates that body size differences within a species can also be correlated with differences in locomotor behavior. These findings may influence how we interpret sex differences in body size of extinct species. © 1993 Wiley-Liss, Inc.