Social organization

Vernon Reynolds

in The Chimpanzees of the Budongo Forest

Published in print June 2005 | ISBN: 9780198515463
Published online September 2007 | e-ISBN: 9780191705656 | DOI:
 Social organization

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The Sonso community numbers 62 individuals. Like all chimpanzee communities so far described, it has a fission-fusion social organization. Parties form at feeding sites, or for social interaction, or when travelling. The mean size of these parties is five when scan sampled, or seven when counted over the whole life of the party. Parties can be as large as 31, if for example feeding on a ripe fig tree. Party composition changes, on average, once every 19 minutes as individuals arrive or leave. This chapter analyzes party composition, the effect of oestrous females on party size, nesting parties, and the relationship between party size and the abundance and distribution of food. Many (but not all) females emigrate from their natal community at adolescence, but males do not, remaining in their natal community throughout their lives and defending their range from encroachment by the males of neighbouring communities.

Keywords: fission-fusion; society; community; party; oestrous; food; emigration; male; female; defence

Chapter.  11201 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Biodiversity and Conservation Biology

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