Public Release: 8-Nov-2016
New study: Male chimpanzees can be players and good fathers
Research on humans' closest living relatives suggests male chimpanzees are focused on offspring rather than building relationships with females
George Washington University
New research suggests that male chimpanzees are more invested in protecting their own offspring than previously thought. Researchers found male chimpanzees spend time with non-mating female chimpanzees that are caring for their offspring. This finding is unexpected since the species is highly promiscuous and researchers previously questioned whether male chimpanzees could recognize their offspring.
Because males spending time with nursing mothers did not increase the likelihood that they would be the father of that mother's next infant, the findings support the paternal effort hypothesis, in which males associate more with mothers in order to protect their offspring, rather than curry favor with the female.