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The Influence of Dominance Rank on the Reproductive Success of Female Chimpanzees

Science  08 Aug 1997:
Vol. 277, Issue 5327, pp. 828-831
DOI: 10.1126/science.277.5327.828

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Abstract

Female chimpanzees often forage alone and do not display obvious linear dominance hierarchies; consequently, it has been suggested that dominance is not of great importance to them. However, with the use of data from a 35-year field study of chimpanzees, high-ranking females were shown to have significantly higher infant survival, faster maturing daughters, and more rapid production of young. Given the foraging behavior of chimpanzees, high rank probably influences reproductive success by helping females establish and maintain access to good foraging areas rather than by sparing them stress from aggression.

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