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The Chimpanzees of the Budongo ForestEcology, Behaviour and Conservation$
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Vernon Reynolds

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780198515463

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198515463.001.0001

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Social organization

Social organization

(p.85) 5. Social organization
The Chimpanzees of the Budongo Forest

Vernon Reynolds

Oxford University Press

The Sonso community numbers 62 individuals. Like all chimpanzee communities so far described, it has a fission-fusion social organization. Parties form at feeding sites, or for social interaction, or when travelling. The mean size of these parties is five when scan sampled, or seven when counted over the whole life of the party. Parties can be as large as 31, if for example feeding on a ripe fig tree. Party composition changes, on average, once every 19 minutes as individuals arrive or leave. This chapter analyzes party composition, the effect of oestrous females on party size, nesting parties, and the relationship between party size and the abundance and distribution of food. Many (but not all) females emigrate from their natal community at adolescence, but males do not, remaining in their natal community throughout their lives and defending their range from encroachment by the males of neighbouring communities.

Keywords:   fission-fusion, society, community, party, oestrous, food, emigration, male, female, defence

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