Reciprocity and trades in wild West African chimpanzees Article

Gomes, CM, Boesch, C. (2011). Reciprocity and trades in wild West African chimpanzees . BEHAVIORAL ECOLOGY AND SOCIOBIOLOGY, 65(11), 2183-2196. 10.1007/s00265-011-1227-x

cited authors

  • Gomes, CM; Boesch, C



  • Why do animals help other individuals and provide benefits to the recipient, sometimes at personal cost? In this study, we aim to determine if some of the helpful behaviors observed in a group of wild chimpanzees (Taï chimpanzee group, Côte d'Ivoire, West Africa) are exchanged among individuals resulting in a net benefit for both participants. We adopted an inclusive view of exchanges by considering that all commodities (i. e., social behaviors as grooming, sex, support, as well as resources, such as meat) can be exchanged. This would result in "market" type social interactions in which debts of one commodity can be met by giving the same or other commodities. We investigated whether both in-kind exchanges and trades of commodities occurred. The Taï chimpanzees reciprocated the amount of grooming they received and were more likely to give support in agonistic conflicts to those who also supported them. In addition, they traded support for meat and meat for sex. Both male and female chimpanzees exchanged many different commodities, which seemed to result in long-term balanced relationships. Our results suggest that wild chimpanzees rely on other group members to obtain many of the important commodities they need. © 2011 Springer-Verlag.

publication date

  • November 1, 2011

published in

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

start page

  • 2183

end page

  • 2196


  • 65


  • 11