Chimpanzee Social Structure

Chimpanzee Social Structure
• Fission-Fusion Society
– Large groups of many
individuals and small,
often temporary
– social group composition
and size change with
different activities and
– adult males leave the
group to wander alone or
join other males in a
hunting party, but rarely
leave the group
– females often switch
between different groups
Chimpanzee Social Structure
• Often have
relatives in other
• When different
groups come
together it is often
a friendly
encounter vs. an
aggressive one
• There is a major
sense of autonomy
of individuals
Power Structure
• Males are the big power holders and are
dominant over females
• They engaged in political activities involving
scheming and physical intimidation in order to
move up in power
• They develop short-term alliances with other
males by mutual support, sharing food,
and grooming each other
• They also use their intelligence to gain power
in the group
– They often use teamwork to frighten and
impress other males and it is usually more
effective than any one individual's muscles in
Power Structure
• Males are in charge of
protecting the group
and finding food
• There are alpha males
who often have a
coalition of lesser males
with them to intimidate
other males
• Females do not have a
solid hierarchal
structure but there are
“better” females than
• Females often form
nursery groups when
Reproduction & Baby
• Chimpanzees are fully grown and able to
reproduce at 12-13 years old.
• Female chimpanzees are pregnant for about 8.5-9
months and usually have a single baby at a time;
twins are rare.
• Female chimpanzees carefully nurture their
• Babies can grasp their mother's fur to ride on the
mother's back at about 6 months.
• After they are weaned, chimpanzees begin to
build their own sleeping nests out of vegetation
and not use their mother's nest anymore.
• Young chimpanzees stay with their mother for
about 7 years.
Parental Care
• Majority is the
responsibility of the
– Critical to the survival and
emotional health of
• Youngsters benefit from
the close relationship with
their mothers in terms of
food, warmth, protection,
and the opportunity to
learn skills
• Social bond that the young
have with their mother is
– Even after they are adults
they will continue to have
affection and caring for her.
– As the mother gets older the
Social Life
• Play is part of chimpanzees
– It influences their overall place in
their social structure
• Capable of emotions that
humans experience
– They show great remorse when one
of their own is injured or killed
– Often shown expressing various
types of affection towards each
• They are very social animals and
thrive on their interactions with
each other.
• They are able to differentiate
Interesting Facts
• Sharing more than 98 %
of our genetic blueprint
• Blood types A and O
• 32 teeth
• Body temperature, 98.6ºF
• Cannot swim
• Opposable thumbs and
opposable toes
• 230 days gestational
Interesting Facts Continued
• Have emotions similar to
those we call joy, anger,
grief, sorrow, pleasure,
boredom, and depression.
• They also comfort and
reassure one another by
kissing and embracing
• Use tools, such as using
sticks and stones.
Interesting Facts Continued
• Chimpanzees in the wild
have different cultures.
• Today, chimpanzees are
an endangered species,
with as few as 150,000
left in the wild.
• Use facial expressions to
convey emotions.
Cognitive Differences between Humans and Chimps
• Chimpanzee vs. Human child learning
• What skills are distinctly human?
• Chimps outperform humans at memory task.
Works Cited
• Shefferly, Nancy. "ADW: Pan Troglodytes: Information." Animal
Diversity Web. Web. 08 Feb. 2012.
• "Physical Characteristics | About Chimpanzees | Chimpanzees." The
Jane Goodall Institute of Canada. Web. 08 Feb. 2012.
• "Chimpanzee Facts." Out to Africa Op Safari Door Afrika. Web. 08
Feb. 2012.
• "Biological Overview of Chimpanzees." Michigan State University
College of Law. Web. 08 Feb. 2012.

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