Peer Interaction in Infant Chimpanzees

In: Folia Primatologica
Michael Tomasellonull

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Deborah A. Gustnull

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Andrea Evansnull

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The peer interactions of 6 infant chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) ranging in age from 18 to 50 months were observed in a seminatural context. The infants and their mothers lived as members of a captive social group at the Yerkes Regional Primate Research Center. An analysis of contact initiations between infants indicated that the most preferred peer interactant was the youngest and the least preferred was the oldest infant. Infants also initiated more interactions with the offspring of adults that had the closest relationships with both themselves and their mothers. These results indicate that a number of factors may influence the peer affiliations of infant chimpanzees, including the age of the infant and the mother’s social relationships.

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