Archive for September 13th, 2017

Missy & Negra

Wednesday, September 13th, 2017

Yesterday during breakfast, volunteer Jake and I watched Missy build an elaborate nest out of blankets and a hanging fire hose which she wove around her blankets in a tight circle. Just as Missy was putting the final touches to her bed, Negra approached with her chow bags in hand and promptly took over Missy’s nest to enjoy the last bit of her breakfast. Missy didn’t bat an eye and quickly moved out of the way for Negra. While to us humans this would seem like an incredibly rude thing to do, this sort of displacement is common in relationships between dominant and subordinate chimpanzees. Missy and Negra have an agreement that when Negra wants something that Missy has, she is going to get it. Missy is very relationship savvy and she very rarely complains when Negra takes things from her (most commonly her primate chow bags). I think there are also some constraints to their agreement, as Missy willingly gives up things that don’t mean that much to her, and Negra knows she can easily take things that Missy isn’t too attached to. This relationship seems to suit them both just fine.

Missy (on a different day, building a similar nest)

Negra (on a different day, napping in a similar nest)