Strategies of Emigration and Transfer by Primates, with Particular Reference to Gorillas

Authors

  • A. H. Harcourt

    Corresponding author
    1. Sub-Department of Animal Behaviour, Madingley, Cambridge, and Karisoke Research Centre, Ruhengeri, Rwanda
      University of Cambridge, Sub-Department of Animal Behaviour, Madingley, Cambridge CB3 8AA, England.
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University of Cambridge, Sub-Department of Animal Behaviour, Madingley, Cambridge CB3 8AA, England.

Abstract

In many primate species, more ♂ ♂ than ♀ ♀ leave their natal group and transfer to another. In man, chimpanzee and the gorilla, however, the reverse is the case. This paper presents detailed data for the gorilla on individuals' movements into and out of breeding units. Comparisons are made with other primates, and with data on two non-primate species in which ♀♀ rather than ♂ ♂ move between breeding units. Proximate causes and functions of emigration and transfer are considered, and the reasons (proximate and evolutionary) for the observed sex differences in frequency of movement are discussed.

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