Navigation Links
Bigger gorillas better at attracting mates and raising young
Date:5/1/2012

Conservationists with the Wildlife Conservation Society and the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology have found that larger male gorillas living in the rainforests of Congo seem to be more successful than smaller ones at attracting mates and even raising young.

The studyconducted over a 12-year period in Nouabal-Ndoki National Park in the Republic of Congohelps to illuminate the selective pressures that influence the evolution of great apes.

The study appears in a recent edition of Journal of Human Evolution. The authors of the study include: Thomas Breuer of the Wildlife Conservation Society and the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology; and Andrew M. Robbins, Christophe Boesch, and Martha M. Robbins of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.

In assessing the role of size in the reproductive success of "silverback" gorillas, the researchers selected three physical factors for measurement: overall body length; the size of the adult male's head crest (also known as a sagittal crest which is absent in females); and the size of an individual's gluteal muscles on the animal's posterior. The researchers then compared data on individual size with information on group dynamics to explore possible correlations between physical characteristics of adult males, the number of female gorillas connected to males, and the survival rates of an adult gorilla's offspring.

The results of the study revealed that all three characteristics were positively correlated to an adult male's average number of mates. In other words, the bigger the adult male, the more mates it had. An unexpected finding was that only head-crest size and gluteal muscles were strongly related to offspring survival (measured as infants that survived to weaning age) and overall reproductive success, measured as the number of surviving offspring.

"Our findings of correlations between physical traits and male reproductive success could be considered evidence of a selection process in gorillas, but it is not yet proof," said Breuer, the lead author of the study. "More studies would be necessary to determine the links between morphology and fitness in this and other long-lived species."

The research is the latest of several studies of gorillas made from the ideal research conditions of Nouabal-Ndoki National Park's Mbeli Bai, a large, swampy forest clearing where gorillas (and scientists studying them) gather for long periods. From 1995 until 2007, the team followed the lives of 19 adult male western lowland gorillas and their family groups from observation platforms with telescopes and cameras. Over that time, the researchers were able to track the number of females each male mated with, and the number and survival rate of offspring produced by each adult male.

The gorilla group data was complemented by physical measurements of adult male gorillas by using a novel, non-invasive method called digital photogrammetry, which produces accurate measurements of individual gorillas and their characteristics from digital images (converting pixel size to actual lengths).

"By using non-invasive methods for measuring the size of individual male gorillas and their features, we are gaining insights about the factors that could be driving mate selection in our closest relatives," added Breuer.

"Studies such as theseones that examine the subtle dynamics of gorilla interactionsare only possible in the stable conditions created in protected areas such as Nouabal-Ndoki National Park," said Dr. James Deutsch, Executive Director for WCS's Africa Program.


'/>"/>

Contact: John Delaney
jdelaney@wcs.org
718-220-3275
Wildlife Conservation Society
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Plants grow bigger and more vigorously through changes in their internal clocks
2. In the animal world, bigger isnt necessarily better
3. Male crickets with bigger heads are better fighters, study reveals, echoing ancient Chinese text
4. Beverage consumption a bigger factor in weight
5. Better food makes high-latitude animals bigger
6. Bigger not necessarily better, when it comes to brains
7. When it comes to fish families, the bigger and bossier the better
8. King crab family bigger than ever
9. The bigger the animal, the stiffer the shoes
10. Evolution drives many plants and animals to be bigger, faster
11. Small insects attacks and kill amphibians much bigger than themselves
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Bigger gorillas better at attracting mates and raising young
(Date:3/2/2016)... March 2, 2016 ... addition of the  "Global Biometrics Market in ... ,     (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130307/600769) , , Global biometrics ... at a CAGR of around 27%   ... has announced the addition of the  "Global ...
(Date:3/1/2016)... 2016 http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/ghsgdt/global_biometric ... the  "Global Biometric Access Control Systems ... offering. --> http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/ghsgdt/global_biometric ) ... "Global Biometric Access Control Systems Market ... --> Research and Markets ( ...
(Date:3/1/2016)... SAN FRANCISCO , March 1, 2016  A ... Inc. extends biometric authentication to the blockchain space to ... Bitcoin transactions that have ever been ... digital assets with over 10,000 transactions on any given ... enables enterprises to keep encrypted biometric data decentralized, offline ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/2/2016)... ... May 02, 2016 , ... F.E.E.D. Co., the Feline Environmental ... revolutionary, veterinarian-designed product for indoor cats. The NoBowl Feeding System replaces the bowl ... the way nature intended. NoBowls make cats happy and healthy. , Since being ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ALBANY, New York , April 29, 2016 ... market report published by Transparency Market Research "Separation ... Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends, and Forecast 2015 ... market was valued at US$ 10,665.5 Mn in ... CAGR of 6.8% from 2015 to 2023 to ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... 29, 2016 Elekta is pleased ... to its industry-leading treatment planning software, is available for ... Monaco version 5.11 provides significant performance speed ... speeds up to four times faster than in previous ... industry,s gold standard Monte Carlo ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... MA (PRWEB) , ... April 28, 2016 , ... ... Asymmetrex will deliver a talk on its first-in-class technologies for tissue ... 2016 Meeting on RNAiMicroRNA Biology to Reprogramming & CRISPR-based Genome Engineering ...
Breaking Biology Technology: