Feeds

Male chimps strike 'meat for sex' deals

Sharing food brings reproductory success

Top three mobile application threats

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. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
LOHAN and the amazing technicolor spaceplane
Our Vulture 2 livery is wrapped, and it's les noix du mutt
KILLER ROBOTS, DNA TAMPERING and PEEPING CYBORGS: the future looks bright!
Americans optimistic about technology despite being afraid of EVERYTHING
R.I.P. LADEE: Probe smashes into lunar surface at 3,600mph
Swan dive signs off successful science mission
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
Liftoff! SpaceX Falcon 9 lifts Dragon on third resupply mission to ISS
SpaceX snaps smartly into one-second launch window
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
prev story

Whitepapers

SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.