Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

Skin temperature and reproductive condition in wild female chimpanzees

Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

DOI

Open Access permissions

Open

Author(s)

Guillaume Dezecache, Claudia Wilke, Nathalie Richi, Christof Neumann, Klaus Zuberbuhler

School/Research organisations

Abstract

Infrared thermal imaging has emerged as a valuable tool in veterinary medicine, in particular for evaluating reproductive processes. Here, we explored differences in skin temperature of twenty female chimpanzees in Budongo Forest, Uganda, four of which were pregnant during data collection. Based on previous literature in other mammals, we predicted increased skin temperature of maximally swollen reproductive organs of nonpregnant females when approaching peak fertility. For pregnant females, we made the same prediction because it has been argued that female chimpanzees have evolved mechanisms to conceal pregnancy, including swellings of the reproductive organs, conspicuous copulation calling, and solicitation of male mating behaviour, to decrease the infanticidal tendencies of resident males by confusing paternity. For non-pregnant females, we found slight temperature increases towards the end of the swelling cycles but no significant change between the fertile and non-fertile phases. Despite their different reproductive state, pregnant females had very similar skin temperature patterns compared to non-pregnant females, suggesting little potential for males to use skin temperature to recognise pregnancies, especially during maximal swelling, when ovulation is most likely to occur in non-pregnant females. We discuss this pattern in light of the concealment hypothesis, i.e., that female chimpanzees have evolved physiological means to conceal their reproductive state during pregnancy
Close

Details

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere4116
JournalPeerJ
Volume5
DOIs
StatePublished - 5 Dec 2017

    Research areas

  • Infra-red thermography, Skin temperature, Wild chimpanzees, Pregnancy

Discover related content
Find related publications, people, projects and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. Alarm calling and kinship

    Stephan, C. & Zuberbuhler, K. 30 Oct 2016 (Accepted/In press) Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science. Shackelford, T. K. & Weekes-Shackelford, V. (eds.). Springer

    Research output: ResearchEntry for encyclopedia/dictionary

  2. Vocal grooming

    Zuberbuehler, K. & Fedurek, P. 3 Nov 2016 (Accepted/In press) Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science. Shackelford, T. K. & Weekes-Shackelford, V. (eds.). Springer

    Research output: ResearchEntry for encyclopedia/dictionary

  3. Development of object manipulation in wild chimpanzees

    Lamon, N., Neumann, C. & Zuberbuhler, K. Jan 2018 In : Animal Behaviour. 135, p. 121-130

    Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

  4. Contextual encoding in titi monkey alarm call sequences

    Berthet, M., Neumann, C., Mesbahi, G., Cäsar Damas, C. & Zuberbuhler, K. Jan 2018 In : Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology. 72, 11 p., 8

    Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

  5. Vocalizing in chimpanzees is influenced by social-cognitive processes

    Crockford, C., Wittig, R. M. & Zuberbuehler, K. 15 Nov 2017 In : Science Advances. 3, 11, 12 p., e1701742

    Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

Related by journal

  1. Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) display limited behavioural flexibility when faced with a changing foraging task requiring tool use

    Harrison, R. A. & Whiten, A. 19 Feb 2018 In : PeerJ. 6, 28 p., e4366

    Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

  2. Sex differences in the use of social information emerge under conditions of risk

    Brand, C. O., Brown, G. R. & Cross, C. P. 3 Jan 2018 In : PeerJ. 6, 18 p., e4190

    Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

  3. The effects of familiarity on escape responses in the Trinidadian guppy (Poecilia reticulata)

    Wolcott, H., Ojanguren, A. F. & Barbosa, M. 11 Oct 2017 In : PeerJ. 5, 17 p., e3899

    Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

  4. True’s beaked whale (Mesoplodon mirus) in Macaronesia

    Aguilar de Soto, N. , Martín, V. , Silva, M. , Edler, R. , Reyes, C. , Carrillo, M. , Schiavi, A. , Morales, T. , García-Ovide, B. , Sanchez-Mora, A. , Garcia-Tavero, N. , Steiner, L. , Scheer, M. , Gockel, R. , Walker, D. , Villa, E. , Szlama, P. , Eriksson, I. K. , Tejedor, M. , Perez-Gil, M. & 3 others Quaresma, J., Bachara, W. & Carroll, E. 7 Mar 2017 In : PeerJ. 5, 22 p., e3059

    Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

Related by journal

  1. PeerJ (Journal)

    Ferrier, D. E. K. (Member of editorial board)
    2017 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workEditor of research journal

  2. PeerJ (Journal)

    Ozakinci, G. (Editor)
    2015

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workEditor of research journal

  3. PeerJ (Journal)

    Somorjai, I. M. L. (Reviewer)
    2015 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workPeer review of manuscripts

  4. PeerJ (Journal)

    Dornelas, M. (Member of editorial board)
    2014 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workEditor of research journal

ID: 251536299