Friday, April 10, 2009

Meat for Sex

Its seem that while Darwin was right that man evolved from monkeys, we did not evolve too much. The coconut only rolls so far from the tree, so to speak. But let's let MSNBC tell the story:

A savory meat dinner goes a long way, as in all the way, in the chimp world, according to a new study that found wild male chimpanzees exchange meat for sex with females on a long-term basis.

It's also suspected the same holds true for hunter-gatherer humans, since earlier studies show better hunters tend to have more sexual partners. Females of both primate species benefit by receiving better nutrition, especially during depleting fertile periods, so they may be driving the relationship between reproductive success and good male hunting skills.

But wait, it gets worse. See that picture at the top of this post? The caption to that picture, on the MSNBC web site, reads: "An adult male chimpanzee, holding the rib case of a red colobus monkey he caught."

Yes, that's right, powerful Chimps kill off smaller monkeys so they can barter for sex.

Is that a metaphor for the current economy, or what?




A similar behavior is observed even in humans ! ;)
But there is also another factor to obtain nutritional elements not contained in plants.

26/02/2008 Ethology Harvard University,
Without the males do not eat meat.
Some male chimpanzees have a key role in the hunting group.

The chimpanzee (Pan troglodites) are the species closest to us and some are known for their remarkable cognitive abilities: can use tools, demonstrate ability and memory similar to living in groups whose level of sociality is decidedly complex. According to a recent study published in Animal Behavior, even during the hunting chimpanzees show a behavior somewhat divided: there are some male hunters set of impact, which are essential to stimulate the activity of the hunting group. These individuals are to begin this work and without their presence is difficult for conspecifici belonging to the group to undertake.

The study, conducted by researchers at Harvard, highlights how the chimpanzees cooperate in hunting and how the presence of variability between the social status of individuals of a group is important for the success of the hunt itself. This species, which live in groups of numbers between 40 and 150 individuals, within which are formed of sub-scale variables that change over time, they feed mainly ripe fruit but supplement their diet with meat hunting small monkeys including ferruginous colobus (Procolobus kirke badius), who live predominantly in trees.

The research, carried out Kanyawara in Kibale National Park in Uganda and conducted according to the mechanisms of hunting of 11 adult male for a period of 10 days, has identified two hunters Impact: Although hunting is a group activity, it is clear such as the presence of these particular individuals is key to its success. In fact, when an encounter with a flock of colobus, these are the first individuals to attack by reducing the ability of defense and consequently facilitating the involvement of other individuals in the group. Remain to be to clarify what are the distinctive features of hunters Impact of the two because one had identified a male dominant but the other had not hand any characteristic that differentiates it from other males in the group. The fact remains that without doubt the presence of these individuals increases the probability that the hunt to succeed.

Certainly the hunting of males is not linked to reasons of social ties, nor even in the presence of a reproductive female in the group. What is certain is that the cooperative hunting increases the likelihood of the individual to obtain food: Although we have already said that chimpanzees eat mostly fruits, supplementing their diet with meat is crucial to take of micronutrients not obtainable from plants. That is an individual benefits from participation in this activity. However, it was shown that with increasing size of the group, the probability of obtaining the ration of meat is equivalent to both individuals who participate actively in the hunt for those who do not do it: so it appears convenient pe a male who lives in a large group not to participate in the hunt.

This is exactly what we see: as the size of the group increases the probability that an individual participates in the hunt, but only up to a certain point, when the size of the group are big choice to participate or not to hunt becomes independent the size of the group.

Federico Ossi

As opposed: some carnivores eat plants to obtain nutrients not contained in the flesh.

Are not so different from us except that they are much more political and resolve certain issues with the sex!

There was a beautiful documentary on chimpanzees, but not remember the title


Anonymous said...



In the end, is there really a difference between the two?

PBurns said...

Rarely am I scare to go to a link. This was one of those times. All is well ;)