Primate Groups and their Correlates
Most primates are highly social and live in groups ranging from small reproductive units to large troops counting hundreds of individuals. Spatial and temporal distribution of food resources, competition with other species, and threat of predation are important determinants of primate group size. Many female primates and their dependent offspring forage largely inde- pendently of males, and most primate groups are female bonded. Furthermore, mating and breeding occur in a large variety of ways and may include individuals from outside existing groups. Like their closest living relatives, the chimpanzees and bonobos, humans live in multimale, multifemale groups. However, humans differ from all other primates by commonly forming strong pair bonds within such groups. Cultural norms for group affiliation and mating patterns can shape the genetic structure of human populations.