Adult Male Chimpanzees Inherit Maternal Ranging Patterns

Carson M. Murray, Ian C. Gilby, Sandeep V. Mane, Anne E. Pusey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Space use often correlates with reproductive success [1, 2]. Individual site fidelity is ubiquitous across a variety of taxa, including birds, mammals, insects, and reptiles [3-9]. Individuals can benefit from using the same area because doing so affords access to known resources, including food and/or breeding sites. The majority of studies on site fidelity have focused upon strictly territorial species in which individuals range in well-defined, exclusive areas (e.g., [4, 9]). By comparison, the transient groups that define fission-fusion species allow for considerable flexibility in individual space use. Although there is evidence that individual space use can influence reproductive success [2], relatively little is known about individual ranging patterns in fission-fusion species. Here, we investigate three potential correlates of male site fidelity (age, habitat quality, and maternal space use) in wild chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). We found that when alone, each male preferentially concentrated his space use near the area where his mother ranged when he was dependent. We suggest that solitary ranging allows males to avoid direct competition with conspecifics and that foraging in familiar areas maximizes foraging efficiency. These results highlight the importance of male foraging strategies in a species in which male ranging is typically explained in terms of mating access to females.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20-24
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 8 2008
Externally publishedYes



ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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