Ontogeny of Ranging in Wild Chimpanzees

  • Herman Pontzer
  • Richard W. Wrangham

We examined the relationship between juvenile age and distance traveled per day, or day range, in Kanyawara chimpanzees. Because the energy cost of locomotion is greater for small-bodied animals, we predict that day range is constrained by body size, i.e., younger individuals tend to have shorter day ranges. To test this hypothesis, we measured day range for 200 day-ranges of groups in which we recorded the age of the youngest juvenile present. As predicted, day range correlated positively with age for juveniles. Comparisons of day range vs. estimated stature support the hypothesis that the increase in day range with age was a consequence of body size. To assess other sources of variation in day range, we also measured the effects of group size and the presence of a carried infant. While day range correlated significantly with group size, the presence of a carried infant had no effect on adult female day range. Our results suggest the size of a juvenile may constrain ranging for mothers and their offspring.


chimpanzees day range maternal investment ontogeny primate locomotion 



The Harvard University Anthropology Dept., and a NSF Graduate Fellowship to H. Pontzer supported the project. We collected day-range data thanks to funds from the Leakey Foundation, the National Geographic Society (no. 5626-96), and the National Science Foundation (NSF SBR-9120960, BCS-9807448). Makerere University and the Uganda Wildlife Authority granted permission for Kanyawara research. G. Isabirye-Basuta and J. Kasenene provided important assistance. J. Barwogeza, C. Katongole, F. Mugurusi, D. Muhangyi, C. Muruuli and P. Tuhairwe collected day-range data with help from A. Arcadi, M. Muller, and M. Wilson. A. Houle, S. Kahlenberg, and M. Wilson contributed GPS data for the creation of the ArcView© map for Kanyawara.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Harvard UniversityCambridgeUSA

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