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It’s a deal

It’s a deal

Researchers have found that chimps exchange meat for sex.


April 8, 2009 3:05 by

According to a study conducted by the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, wild chimpanzees exchange meat for sex, and continue to do so for an extended period of time, reported Reuters on Tuesday.

German researchers Cristina Gomes and Christophe Boesch, who watched chimps in the Tai National Park in Ivory Coast, explained their study’s findings in the Public Library of Science journal PLoS ONE:

“Males who shared meat with females doubled their mating success, whereas females, who had difficulty obtaining meat on their own, increased their caloric intake without suffering the energetic costs and potential risk of injury related to hunting,” they wrote.

“The meat for-sex hypothesis is a plausible explanation for male-female meat sharing in this species, as chimpanzees are highly promiscuous, they have a certain degree of female choice and hunters can usually control the sharing of their catch.”

Their study also showed that male chimps were more likely to gift meat to their female counterparts if they were in a fertile period. Furthermore, sexual intercourse took place more frequently between chimps that shared meat regularly.

“Our findings add to the ever-growing evidence suggesting that chimpanzees can think in the past and the future and that this influences their present behavior,” Boesch said.

“These findings are bound to have an impact on our current knowledge about relationships between men and women; and similar studies will determine if the direct nutritional benefits that women receive from hunters in human hunter-gatherer societies could also be driving the relationship between reproductive success and good hunting skills,” Gomes added.

It explains everything. Male behavior, female behavior, the dating ritual, the expensive restaurant, the overpriced (but tender) rare steak, the butterfly kisses, the awkward ride home, and finally, the terrible misunderstanding that leaves on you fuming.


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