Bonobo helicopter moms stand guard while their sons mate

first_img Email Bonobo ‘helicopter’ moms stand guard while their sons mate Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country In what may be the bonobo take on a fussy mom giving her son’s number to a nice, single woman at the grocery store, female bonobos go to extremes to make sure their sons mate, introducing them to fertile females and even standing guard while the two couple up, according to a new study.Researchers already knew that mothers of chimpanzees—bonobos’ close evolutionary cousins—help their sons in male-on-male fights for dominance. Yet bonobo females, who get their pick of mates, take things even further. Because a few select, high-ranking males tend to monopolize the mating pool in their matriarchal society, lower-ranking males are essentially forced out.Not ones to leave their genetic legacies to chance, the mothers of male bonobos bring their sons around to fertile females and introduce them, according to researcher observations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The mothers not only used their own rank to help boost their male children’s social standing, but also acted as bodyguards during their sons’ mating attempts—and even tried to break up the mating attempts of other males. Overall, males who had a mom around to help were about three times more likely to produce offspring than males without maternal support, the researchers report today in Current Biology. By Michael PriceMay. 20, 2019 , 11:00 AM Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Curiously, daughters didn’t appear to get such maternal support, possibly because female offspring often disperse and form or join new communities rather than staying close to home. As to why bonobo moms go to such efforts to help their sons, the researchers conclude it’s a rather straightforward way to continue supporting their genetic line without having more offspring of their own. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Martin Surbeck/Kokolopori Bonobo Research last_img