Anthropology, Department of


Date of this Version



Published in THE NEBRASKA ANTHROPOLOGIST, Volume 26 (2011). Published by the Anthropology Student Group, Department of Anthropology, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Nebraska 68588. Copyright © 2011 University of Nebraska-Lincoln's AnthroGroup.


In recent years, paternity assessments utilizing DNA testing of primate populations have yielded valuable iriformation regarding reproductive skew, male-male competition and synchronous estrus. In this paper, genetic data and demographic factors of multimale multifemale primate groups including West African chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus), bonobos (Pan paniscus), savannah baboons (Papio cynocephalus), mountain gorillas (Gorilla beringei beringei), and mandrills (Mandrillus sphinx) are examined and compared The revealed patterns of paternity in multi-male groups are shown to support the priority-ol-access model. The role of malemale competition in attracting females to the group is considered, as is the function of synchronous estrus in constraining reproductive skew. The importance of the interplay between male-male competition, female reproductive synchrony and dominance in hominid evolution is discussed