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Group-level variation in co-feeding tolerance between two sanctuary-housed communities of chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes)

Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-articlepeer-review

Social tolerance in group-living animals can be viewed as a counterweight against competitive interests necessary to obtain coexistence equilibrium and maintain group cohesion. As such, it forms an interesting phenomenon to study at the group level, but how can this be done most informatively? Here, we use three group-level co-feeding assays and social network analysis to study social tolerance in two groups of chimpanzees living under similar circumstances within a sanctuary to i) reassess whether social tolerance may be a group-specific parameter in chimpanzees and derive inferences about its long-term stability, and ii) compare the characteristics and resultant patterns between two established and one new assay. We show that the three assays expose the same (predicted) group-level differences in social tolerance as in the previous study eight years ago, thereby providing preliminary evidence for stability in group-specific levels of social tolerance in chimpanzees, despite changing group compositions. Furthermore, from an experimental point of view, we identify the new assay as more valid than the two established ones based on the consideration that resources may deplete at different rates across groups, which would consequently alter the need for tolerance differentially. We discuss implications for the study of social tolerance and highlight the importance of taking into account intraspecific variation in social animals. © 2021 The Authors. Ethology published by Wiley-VCH GmbH.
Original languageEnglish
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)517-526
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2021
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