Contact is an essential element in chimpanzee behavior. It plays an important role in social
situations whether the chimpanzee is excited, afraid, playing, or relaxing. A pat, embrace, or kiss relieves the fears and
frustrations of a crying infant, lessens tension of adults involved in a dispute, and reassures anxious subordinates
when threatened by an aroused and aggressive high ranking chimpanzee.
…That was the real last duel between the two males. From then on it seems that Goliath accepted
Mike's superiority, and a strangely intense relationship grew up between the two. They often greeted one another with
much display of emotion, embracing or patting one another, kissing each other in the neck; afterward they usually started
grooming each other. During these grooming sessions it appeared that the tension between them was eased, soothed by the
close, friendly physical contact. Afterward they sometimes fed or rested quite close to each other, looking peaceful and
relaxed as though the bitter rivalry of the past had never been.