Chimpanzees: Maternal support
The sexual bonds between individuals are variable. Some females and some males are monogamous. Other males will mate with many females, and the females themselves, when their hind-quarters inflame into pink fleshy cushions and they become sexually receptive, often court and mate with numerous males. The tie between the young and their mothers is very close. Immediately after birth, the infant clings to its mother's hair with its tiny fists, though at first it is not strong enough to stay there for long without maternal support. It will remain close to its mother, riding on her back like a jockey when the group travels, until it is about five years old. This close dependence, made possible by the baby's grasping hands, has a profound effect on Chimpanzee society, for as a result the young learn a great deal from their mother and she is able to keep a close eye on them as they grow up, supervising what they do, pulling them back from danger, showing them from her own example how to behave.