Feeds

Male chimps strike 'meat for sex' deals

Sharing food brings reproductory success

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

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. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Antarctic ice THICKER than first feared – penguin-bot boffins
Robo-sub scans freezing waters, rocks warming models
Your PHONE is slowly KILLING YOU
Doctors find new Digitillnesses - 'text neck' and 'telepressure'
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
Reuse the Force, Luke: SpaceX's Elon Musk reveals X-WING designs
And a floating carrier for recyclable rockets
The next big thing in medical science: POO TRANSPLANTS
Your brother's gonna die, kid, unless we can give him your, well ...
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK': Top Google engineers
Windmills, solar, tidal - all a 'false hope', say Stanford PhDs
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
prev story

Whitepapers

Driving business with continuous operational intelligence
Introducing an innovative approach offered by ExtraHop for producing continuous operational intelligence.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
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?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.