A recent study of chimpanzees in Tanzania’s Gombe National Park found that males who create strong ties to alpha males, or who form large networks or alliances with other males, were more likely to father offspring. Researchers say the social bonds formed between males provided access to mating opportunities which they would not have been able to access without allies. While further studies are necessary, experts say the findings could help understand optimal group sizes and thus the necessary range for wild populations. A new study suggesting bonding between male chimpanzees can increase success in siring offspring has whetted experts’ appetite for further research into the endangered species’ complex social behavior. The study , led by researchers from the University of Michigan, Arizona State University and Duke University in the U.S. and published Aug. 17 in iScience , looked at the close relationships that many male chimpanzees form and the possible reasons for such sociality. The researchers found that males who create strong ties to alpha males, or who form large networks or alliances with other males, were more likely to father babies. “There haven’t been many studies that look at how sociality is related to reproductive success,” lead […]

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