Wild chimpanzees' mating habits aren't nearly as wild as scientists had suspected, at least not according to the latest genetic analysis of chimps living in three western African communities.
Females don't have frequent mating flings outside those groups, as earlier genetic data suggested, contends a team led by geneticist Linda Vigilant and anthropologist Christophe Boesch, both of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany. Moreover, although adult males live their whole lives in the same community and form strong alliances with one another, they're no more closely related genetically than are their adult-female peers, which emigrate into new communities upon reaching maturity, the researchers say.
Note: To comment, Science News subscribing members must now establish a separate login relationship with Disqus. Click the Disqus icon below, enter your e-mail and click “forgot password” to reset your password. You may also log into Disqus using Facebook, Twitter or Google.