Section 7
Chapter 6,431

Social organization of savanna dwelling chimpanzees pan troglodytes verus at mount assirik senegal

Tutin, C.E.G.; Mcgrew, W.C.; Baldwin, P.J.

Primates 24(2): 154-173


ISSN/ISBN: 0032-8332
Accession: 006430276

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A community of chimpanzees at Mt. Assirik in southeastern Senegal subsists in a hot, dry, open environment. This wide-ranging, savanna-living group provides an opportunity for comparisons of social organization with other populations in Africa living in forest and woodland. The group numbered .apprx. 28 over the 4-yr study, and its composition by age and sex was typical. The average size of parties (i.e., temporary subgroups) did not differ from other populations. A high proportion of the group tended to remain together in such parties. The composition of parties resembled that found elsewhere, but some differences emerged between the wet and dry seasons. Larger, mixed parties, containing adult males were much more common in open, nonforested habitats than were solitary individuals or parties without adult males. Large parties tended to form for traveling, especially for rapid movement over long distances. Such aspects of social organization seem unlikely to be related to the availability of food. They seem to be adaptations to threats from predators and patchily distributed food, water and nesting sites. This results in occasional bivouacs and mass-migrations from one part of the homerange to another, especially in the dry season.

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