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Estrus Cycle Asynchrony in Wild Female Chimpanzees, Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii

Akiko Matsumoto-Oda, Miya Hamai, Hitosige Hayaki, Kazuhiko Hosaka, Kevin D. Hunt, Eiiti Kasuya, Kenji Kawanaka, John C. Mitani, Hiroyuki Takasaki and Yukio Takahata
Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
Vol. 61, No. 5 (Mar., 2007), pp. 661-668
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25511627
Page Count: 8
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Estrus Cycle Asynchrony in Wild Female Chimpanzees, Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii
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Abstract

Although estrous synchrony has been reported in a number of mammalian species, most often among primates, methodological and analytical problems make it difficult to interpret these results. We developed a novel estrous synchrony index and employed a randomization procedure to analyze long-term observations of female chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii) estrous cycles at the Mahale Mountains National Park, Tanzania. Our results revealed that female chimpanzees at Mahale avoid synchronizing their estrous periods with each other. We also found that birthrates decreased as the breeding sex ratio increased. We suggest that estrous asynchrony decreases female-female competition for mates. Asynchrony may also reduce the potential for male sexual coercion by nonpreferred mating partners.

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