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Captive chimpanzees appear to anticipate the occurrence of conflict during feeding by grooming and being in proximity at increased rates during the hour prior to feeding. The effect is more marked when food is clumped than when it is dispersed, suggesting that the proximate cause is the anticipation of increased levels of competition. Chimpanzees did not choose high ranking individuals more often as prefeed grooming partners; rather, they preferred to associate with their normal grooming partners (as reflected in post-feed grooming preferences) and close kin. A strong correlation between prefeed association patterns and spatial proximity during chumped feeding sessions suggests that their main concern is to be allowed to feed near individuals who are able to monopolize food sources.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





79 - 86