Male affiliation, cooperation and kinship in wild chimpanzees

Anim Behav. 2000 Apr;59(4):885-893. doi: 10.1006/anbe.1999.1389.


Long-term field research has revealed that male chimpanzees, Pan troglodytes, affiliate and cooperate in several contexts. Assuming close genetic relationship among males, affiliative and cooperative behaviour have been hypothesized to evolve through the indirect effects of kin selection. We tested the hypothesis that matrilineal genetic relatedness affects patterns of male social affiliation and cooperation in an unusually large community of chimpanzees at the Ngogo study site, Kibale National Park, Uganda. Field observations indicated that six behavioural measures of affiliation and cooperation among 23 adult males were significantly correlated with each other. Sequences of the first hypervariable portion of the mtDNA genome revealed that three pairs of males and one quintet shared mtDNA haplotypes. Matrix permutation tests using behavioural and genetic data showed that males that affiliated and cooperated with each other were not closely related through the maternal line. These findings add to a growing body of empirical evidence that suggest kinship plays an ancillary role in structuring patterns of wild chimpanzee behaviour within social groups. Copyright 2000 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour.