Feeds

Male chimps strike 'meat for sex' deals

Sharing food brings reproductory success

Protecting against web application threats using SSL

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. ®

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

More from The Register

next story
PORTAL TO ELSEWHERE scried in small galaxy far, far away
Supermassive black hole dominates titchy star formation
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Edge Research Lab to tackle chilly LOHAN's final test flight
Our US allies to probe potential Vulture 2 servo freeze
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
Cracked it - Vulture 2 power podule fires servos for 4 HOURS
Pixhawk avionics juice issue sorted, onwards to Spaceport America
Archaeologists and robots on hunt for more Antikythera pieces
How much of the world's oldest computer can they find?
Who wants to be there as history is made at the launch of our LOHAN space project?
Two places available in the chase plane above the desert
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
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?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.