Escribano, D., Doldán-Martelli, V., Cronin, K. A. et al. 2022. Chimpanzees organize their social relationships like humans. Scientific Reports 12(1), 16641.
Human relationships are structured in a set of layers, ordered from higher (intimate relationships) to lower (acquaintances) emotional and cognitive intensity. This structure arises from the limits of our cognitive capacity and the different amounts of resources required by different relationships. However, it is unknown whether nonhuman primate species organize their affiliative relationships following the same pattern. We here show that the time chimpanzees devote to grooming other individuals is well described by the same model used for human relationships, supporting the existence of similar social signatures for both humans and chimpanzees. Furthermore, the relationship structure depends on group size as predicted by the model, the proportion of high-intensity connections being larger for smaller groups.