Wild-Minds/Multi-level-social-structure_BudongoChimpanzees: Flexibility in the social structure of male chimpanzees



Using four years of association data from two neighbouring communities of East African chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii), we describe new levels of flexibility in chimpanzee social organisation and confirm the presence of subgrouping in a second, large community of chimpanzees. We show that males from the larger Waibira community (N males 24-31) exhibited additional levels of semi-stable subgrouping, while males from the smaller Sonso community (N males 10-13) did not. Subgroup membership showed stability across some years, but flexibility across others. Our data support the hypothesis that chimpanzees can incorporate strategies other than fission-fusion to overcome costs of social living, and that their social organisation may be closer to that of modern humans than previously described.
Date made available2022

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