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image of Behaviour

Chimpanzees are among the few mammals that engage in lethal coalitionary aggression between groups. Most attacks on neighbors occur when parties made up mostly of adult males patrol boundaries of their community's range. Patrols have time, energy, and opportunity costs, and entail some risks despite the tendency of males to attack only when they greatly outnumber their targets. These factors may lead to a collective action problem. Potential benefits include protection of community members, particularly infants; range expansion and increases in the amount and quality of food available; and incorporation of more females into the community. Males may not share these equally; for example, those able to obtain large shares of matings may stand to gain most by participating in patrols and to lose most by refraining. Despite the attention that boundary patrolling has attracted, few relevant quantitative data are available. Here, we present detailed data on boundary patrolling and intergroup aggression in a chimpanzee community at Ngogo, Kibale National Park, Uganda, that is unusually large and has more males than any other known community. Males there patrolled much more often, and patrol parties were much larger on average, than at two other sites for which comparative data exist. Our findings support the argument that male participation varies along with variation in potential gains, in willingness to take risks, and in skill at handling these risks. Both the overall frequency with which individual males patrolled and their willingness to join patrols as others set off on them were positively associated with variation in mating success, in participation in hunts of red colobus monkeys, and in hunting success. Males patrolled relatively often with others with whom they associated often in general, with whom they often groomed, and with whom they formed coalitions in withincommunity agonism. This indicates that they were most willing to take risks associated with patrolling when with others they trusted to take the same risks.

Affiliations: 1: Dept. of Anthropology, Yale University, P.O. Box 208277, New Haven, CT, USA 06520-8277; 2: Dept. Of Anthropology, The University of Michigan, 1020 LSA Bldg. Ann Arbor, MI, USA 48109


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