Gorilla and Primate Socioecology: The Future

Alexander H. Harcourt

in Gorilla Society

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print August 2007 | ISBN: 9780226316024
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226316048 | DOI:
Gorilla and Primate Socioecology: The Future

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  • Animal Behaviour and Behavioural Ecology


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The gorilla is a folivore that lives in one-male, multi-female social groups, between which females transfer, and from which no breeding male is ousted by an immigrant outsider. This society, with its many additional complexities, is the outcome of compromise between male and female tactics and strategies of survival, mating, and rearing. The environment affects the optimum tactics and strategies of both male and female gorillas. These tactics and strategies interact with one another in ways dependent on the payoffs to each sex, the outcome of which interactions is the society that we see. What do we need to add to our current knowledge and understanding of gorilla society in particular, primate socioecology in general? This chapter suggests nine areas of future work relating to diets, the fate of dispersers, the nature of community structure in primate populations, protection against predation and protection against infanticide, the relative roles of environmental influences and sexual selection in determining the nature of gorilla society, and human behavioral and social ecology.

Keywords: gorillas; gorilla society; socioecology; diets; community structure; predation; infanticide; sexual selection; compromise; mating

Chapter.  9679 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Animal Behaviour and Behavioural Ecology

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