A submissive chimpanzee lets the aggressor know that he or she is not a threat through
non-threatening postures such as presenting their back, crouching and bowing in front of the threatening chimpanzee,
or bobbing. The submissive chimpanzee will approach the dominant chimpanzee with a fear grin on its face. It is attempting
to present itself to the hostile chimpanzee as small and non-threatening. The aggressor will in turn allow the victim to
move closer to him. Often he will gently touch the other chimpanzee’s back, arm, or hand. Submissive postures and gestures
are often accompanied by vocalizations such as grunts, squeaks, whimpers, or screams depending on the amount of distress
the chimpanzee is experiencing.
Olly tended to avoid large groups of chimps and often wandered about with her two-year-old daughter Gilka for company. Sometimes, she was accompanied by her son Evered; in fact it was he who first led his mother to our camp after coming with David and Goliath. Often, Olly and Flo traveled about together in the forests, and all four children were playmates of long standing. For the most part, the relationship between Flo and Olly was peaceful enough, but if there was a single banana lying on the ground between them the relative social status of each was made very clear: Flo had only to put a few of her moth-eaten hairs on end for Olly to retreat, pant-grunting and grinning in submission. Once a game between Flo's son Figan and Olly's son Evered turned into a serious squabble-as happens only too often when young males play together-and Flo rushed over at once, her hair on end, in response to Figan's loud screams. She flew at Evered and rolled him over and over until he managed to escape and run off screaming loudly. Olly hurried up too, uttering threatening barks and looking extremely agitated, but she did not dare join in, and so contented herself when all was over with approaching and, as though to appease the dominant female, laying a hand gently on Flo's back.