Feeds

Male chimps strike 'meat for sex' deals

Sharing food brings reproductory success

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Researchers have confirmed that male chimpanzees who share meat with females mate twice as often as those who prefer to keep their food to themselves.

These "meat for sex" deals, observed among chimps in Ivory Coast by Dr Cristina Gomes and colleagues from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, are significant because they're "long-term" arrangements: Males will share meat from hunting expeditions with females even when they're not in oestrus, thereby increasing the possibility of copulation when they are.

Previous attempts to confirm the "meat for sex hypothesis", that male chimps might woo females with food, failed since they focused on "direct exchanges", in which sharing resulted in immediate copulation.

Dr Gomes explained to the BBC: "We looked at chimps when they were not in oestrus - this means they don't have sexual swellings and aren't copulating. The males still share with them - they might share meat with a female one day, and only copulate with her a day or two later."

She added: "By sharing, the males increase the number of times they mate, and the females increase their intake of calories. What's amazing is that if a male shares with a particular female, he doubles the number of times he copulates with her, which is likely to increase the probability of fertilising that female."

Dr Gomes suggested the findings might offer insights into human evolution. The team's report specifies: "Similar studies on humans will determine if the direct nutritional benefits that women receive from hunters in foraging societies could also be driving the relationship between reproductive success and good hunting skills."

The full report is published here in PLoS ONE. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
MARS NEEDS WOMEN, claims NASA pseudo 'naut: They eat less
'Some might find this idea offensive' boffin admits
Boffins who stare at goats: I do believe they’re SHRINKING
Alpine chamois being squashed by global warming
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer
'Solar sail' demonstrator project binned
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.