Reproductive energetics in free-living female chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii)

Carson M. Murray, Elizabeth V. Lonsdorf, Lynn E Eberly, Anne E. Pusey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Mammalian females generally carry the bulk of reproductive costs. They gestate for relatively long periods of time and provide the majority of parental care for dependent offspring. For this reason, many studies have examined how females deal with the energetic costs of reproduction. Here, we examine the influence of reproductive state on activity budgets, diet quality, and sociality in free-living female chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) at Gombe National Park, Tanzania. After controlling for dominance rank, we found that pregnant and lactating females consumed higher quality foods than nonpregnant, nonlactating females. However, pregnant females also traveled less. This result did not reflect differences in sociality, as the pregnant female group sizes included in our analyses were comparable to those in other reproductive categories.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1211-1216
Number of pages6
JournalBehavioral Ecology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2009

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Tanzania National Parks, the Tanzanian Wildlife Research Institute, and the Tanzanian Commission for Science and Technology for granting us permission to work on this project in Gombe National Park. We are grateful to the Jane Goodall Institute for funding long-term research at Gombe, the Gombe Stream Research Center staff for maintaining data collection, and Dr Jane Goodall for granting us permission to work with the long-term data set. We thank the numerous assistants who have entered long-term data into a database at the Jane Goodall Institute’s Center for Primate Studies, with support from the National Science Foundation, the University of Minnesota, the Harris Steel Group, the Windibrow Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation, Minnesota Base Camp, and the Jane Goodall Institute. We thank Dr Julia Chosy, Marissa Milstein, Joann Schumacher-Stankey, Emily Wroblewski, and 3 anonymous reviewers for helpful comments made on an earlier version of this manuscript.


  • Chimpanzees
  • Gombe National Park
  • Lactation
  • Pregnancy
  • Reproductive energetics


Dive into the research topics of 'Reproductive energetics in free-living female chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this