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Endurance and Flexibility of Close Social Relationships: Comparing Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus) and Sooty Mangabeys (Cercocebus atys atys)

Endurance and Flexibility of Close Social Relationships: Comparing Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus) and Sooty Mangabeys (Cercocebus atys atys)

Chapter:
(p.115) 5 Endurance and Flexibility of Close Social Relationships: Comparing Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus) and Sooty Mangabeys (Cercocebus atys atys)
Source:
Chimpanzees in Context
Author(s):
Roman M. WittigAlexander MielkeJack LesterCatherine Crockford
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226728032.003.0005

Many social animals form enduring and close social relationships that have positive effects on fitness. Most species form close social relationships between maternal kin, which makes them enduring, but inflexible. Some species, however, also form close social relationships among unrelated individuals. These relationships are subject to changes when benefits of the relationship change. Endurance and flexibility of close social relationships, however, are rarely directly compared across species using the same method. This chapter compares social relationships of male-philopatric chimpanzees and sympatric, female philopatric sooty mangabeys. This chapter explores how many close social relationships are formed between kin and non-kin partners, how enduring these relationships are, and how flexible the relationship quality of these dyads is using a dynamic sociality index. This chapter reveals that mangabeys form bonds primarily with females and, when possible, with maternal kin. Chimpanzees, in contrast, chose bond partners of both sexes and do not prefer maternal kin over others. Thus, mangabey bonds are more enduring and less flexible compared to chimpanzee bonds. Bond endurance and flexibility are features differing between matrilineal species with despotic dominance structure and species with more egalitarian structures, possibly affecting social cognition and complexity.

Keywords:   sociality, bonds, mangabey, behavioral flexibility, kin relationship, non-kin relationship, social structure, Dynamic Dyadic Sociality Index, chimpanzee

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