Female apes are easily overshadowed by their larger, more boisterous male counterparts. Thus, the nature of female social relationships has been shrouded in mystery. The subtlety of social behavior in female chimpanzees belies a complex set of strategies that allow them to navigate the costs and benefits of group life.
By combining decades of behavioral research with innovative non-invasive approaches, Dr. Emery Thompson and her colleagues at the Kibale Chimpanzee Project have uncovered fascinating details about the secret lives of female chimpanzees. She will discuss how females negotiate rivalries to obtain the resources they need to reproduce, the chaotic, and sometimes violent, nature of sexual relationships with males, and the unexpected ways these relationships change with age. Along the way, you will learn about the challenges and rewards of studying this fascinating species in the wild.
The Leakey Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to funding scientific research that explores the many facets of human origins and sharing the results of this research through their innovative educational programs. They are based in San Francisco, California, and are the only U.S. funding organization wholly committed to human origins research and education throughout the world.