Food and the Status Quest: An Interdisciplinary Perspective

By Polly Wiessner; Wulf Schiefenhövel | Go to book overview
have more living offspring. At Gombe, the top five female meat consumers produced on average 3.6 living offspring, while the bottom five produced on average only 1.4 ( McGrew 1992). This meat was largely received from males, as were bananas and sugar cane when shared, and males favored females with whom they had practiced restrictive mating. Male involvement in nonopportunistic mating was not correlated with dominance rank (or age, or agonistic behavior directed to females), but was correlated with generosity in banana sharing and time spent grooming and in association with females. That is, females chose to conceive with generous, attentive males, or with the highest-ranking male. For details, see Tutin ( 1975).Thus, ultimate reproductive success is a result of a number of interrelated proximate factors: status and fertility are a function of affinitive social relations and health; health is a function of nutrition; nutrition is a function of diet; and diet is a function of status.
Notes
Thanks to L.F. Marchant for critical comments on the manuscript, to C.E.G. Tutin and R.W. Wrangham for unpublished data, and S. Eggebrecht and F. Somerville for word processing.
References
Boesch C. and H. Boesch. 1984. Possible causes of sex differences in the use of natural hammers by wild chimpanzees. Journal of Human Evolution, 13: 415-40.
Boesch C. and H. Boesch. 1989. Hunting behavior of wild chimpanzees in the Tai National Park. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 78: 547-73.
Dunbar R. I.M. 1988. Primate Social Systems. London: Croom Helm.
Epple G. and V. Katz. 1984. Social influences on estrogen excretion and ovarian cyclicity in saddle back tamarins (Saguinus fuscicollis). American Journal of Primatology 6: 215-28.
Goodall J. v.L. 1968. The behaviour of free-ranging chimpanzees in the Gombe Stream Reserve. Animal Behaviour Monographs 1:161-311.
Goodall J. v.L. 1977. Infant killing and cannibalism in free-living chimpanzees. Folia primatologica 28: 259-82.
Goodall J. 1986. The Chimpanzees of Gombe. Cambridge, Mass.: The Belkap Press of Harvard Univer. Press.

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