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How old are chimpanzee communities? Time to the most recent common ancestor of the Y-chromosome in highly patrilocal societies

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Author(s)

Kevin Langergraber, Carolyn Rowney, Grit Schubert, Cathy Crockford, Cat Hobaiter, Roman Wittig, Richard W Wrangham, Klaus Zuberbuhler, Linda Vigilant

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Abstract

Many human societies are patrilineal, with males passing on their name or descent group affiliation to their offspring. Y-chromosomes are also passed on from father to son, leading to the simple expectation that males sharing the same surname or descent group membership should have similar Y-chromosome haplotypes. Although several studies in patrilineal human societies have examined the correspondence between Y-chromosome variation and surname or descent group membership, similar studies in non- human animals are lacking. Chimpanzees represent an excellent species for examining the relation- ship between descent group membership and Y-chromosome variation because they live in strongly male philopatric communities that arise by a group-fissioning process. Here we take advantage of recent analytical advances in the calculation of the time to the most recent common male ancestor and a large sample size of 273 Y-chromosome short tandem repeat haplotypes to inform our understanding of the potential ages of eight communities of chimpanzees. We find that the times to the most recent common male ancestor of chimpanzee communities are several hundred to as much as over two thousand years. These genetic estimates of the great time depths of chimpanzee communities accord well with behav- ioral observations suggesting that community fissions are a very rare event and are similar to genetic estimates of the time depth of patrilineal human groups.
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Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-7
JournalJournal of Human Evolution
Volume69
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2014

    Research areas

  • Pan troglodytes, Haplotype, Philopatry, Ancestry, Mutation rate, Paternity, Community formation, Dating, Culture

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