English
 
Help Privacy Policy Disclaimer
  Advanced SearchBrowse

Item

ITEM ACTIONSEXPORT

Released

Journal Article

Towards understanding multimodal traits of female reproduction in chimpanzees

MPS-Authors
/persons/resource/persons195087

Kücklich,  Marlen
Department of Human Behavior Ecology and Culture, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Max Planck Society;
Research Group Primate Behavioural Ecology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Max Planck Society;

/persons/resource/persons73418

Kulik,  Lars
Research Group Primate Behavioural Ecology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Max Planck Society;

/persons/resource/persons187902

Weiss,  Brigitte M.
Department of Human Behavior Ecology and Culture, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Max Planck Society;
Research Group Primate Behavioural Ecology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Max Planck Society;

/persons/resource/persons73039

Widdig,  Anja
Department of Human Behavior Ecology and Culture, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Max Planck Society;
Research Group Primate Behavioural Ecology, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Max Planck Society;

External Resource
No external resources are shared
Fulltext (public)

Kücklich_Towards_Primates_2022.pdf
(Publisher version), 900KB

Supplementary Material (public)

Kücklich_Towards_Primates_Suppl_2022.pdf
(Supplementary material), 658KB

Citation

Kücklich, M., Jänig, S., Kulik, L., Birkemeyer, C., Weiss, B. M., & Widdig, A. (2022). Towards understanding multimodal traits of female reproduction in chimpanzees. Primates.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-000A-93D0-4
Abstract
Although primates have long been regarded as microsmatic, recent studies indicate that olfaction is an important sensory mode of primate communication, for example, in the context of reproduction. However, large gaps remain in understanding primate olfactory traits, especially in great apes. Female chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) possess an exaggerated sexual swelling which is an imprecise signal of fertility to confuse paternity. Even so, some high-ranking males copulating most frequently at fertile days of females seem to have more precise information on the timing of ovulation, suggesting the existence of an olfactory fertility trait. In order to provide evidence of fertility-related information in female chimpanzees, we used gas chromatography – mass spectrometry to analyze the chemical composition of female body odor collected across the menstrual cycle from various swelling stages (97 samples of six females). We found that the chemical composition was significantly affected by swelling stages and detected nine substances that were strongly related to swelling stages. The existence of an additional olfactory fertility trait could either help males to fine-tune their sexual behavior or allow females to strengthen concealment of the exact timing of ovulation, which needs to be further investigated in follow-up studies. The results of our study add much-needed evidence about the existence of an olfactory cue related to reproduction in chimpanzees and form a basis for future studies on the interplay between visual and olfactory information of female fertility.