Saturday, May 21, 2011

Male chimpanzees feed less when oestrous females are present

Mating for male chimpanzees involves a lot of noise, running around and fighting. My latest analyses from the thesis study I conducted at Kanyawara, Uganda (under preparation) show that mating also involves less feeding. An increase in energetic expenditure because of all the aggression during mating competition, combined with a decrease in energy intake will result in some pretty tired male chimps at the end of the roughly two-long period during which a female is maximally swollen (at the peak of her conception potential).  More news on this topic - at my upcoming talks at the Animal Behavior Society meeting in Bloomington, Indiana (July 2011) and at the American Society of Primatologists meeting in Austin, Texas (Sept 2011).