The complex cooperative behavior exhibited by wild chimpanzees generates considerable theoretical and empirical interest, yet we know very little about the mechanisms responsible for its evolution. Here, we investigate the influence of kinship on the cooperative behavior of male chimpanzees living in an unusually large community at Ngogo in Kibale National Park, Uganda. Using long-term field observations and molecular genetic techniques to identify kin relations between individuals, we show that male chimpanzees clearly prefer to affiliate and cooperate with their maternal brothers in several behavioral contexts. Despite these results, additional analyses reveal that the impact of kinship is limited; paternal brothers do not selectively affiliate and cooperate, probably because they cannot be reliably recognized, and the majority of highly affiliative and cooperative dyads are actually unrelated or distantly related. These findings add to a growing body of research that indicates that animals cooperate with each other to obtain both direct and indirect fitness benefits and that complex cooperation can occur between kin and nonkin alike.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|State||Published - May 8 2007|
- Kin recognition
- Pan troglodytes
ASJC Scopus subject areas