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Wilson M.L.,University of Minnesota | Boesch C.,Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology | Fruth B.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich | Fruth B.,Center for Research and Conservation | And 30 more authors.
Nature | Year: 2014

Observations of chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) and bonobos (Pan paniscus) provide valuable comparative data for understanding the significance of conspecific killing. Two kinds of hypothesis have been proposed. Lethal violence is sometimes concluded to be the result of adaptive strategies, such that killers ultimately gain fitness benefits by increasing their access to resources such as food or mates. Alternatively, it could be a non-adaptive result of human impacts, such as habitat change or food provisioning. To discriminate between these hypotheses we compiled information from 18 chimpanzee communities and 4 bonobo communities studied over five decades. Our data include 152 killings (n = 58 observed, 41 inferred, and 53 suspected killings) by chimpanzees in 15 communities and one suspected killing by bonobos. We found that males were the most frequent attackers (92% of participants) and victims (73%); most killings (66%) involved intercommunity attacks; and attackers greatly outnumbered their victims (median 8:1 ratio). Variation in killing rates was unrelated to measures of human impacts. Our results are compatible with previously proposed adaptive explanations for killing by chimpanzees, whereas the human impact hypothesis is not supported. ©2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved. Source


Macho G.A.,University of Bradford | Shimizu D.,Japan Monkey Center
Journal of Human Evolution | Year: 2010

The dietary adaptations of Australopithecus anamensis are contentious, with suggestions that range from soft fruits to hard, brittle, tough, and abrasive foods. It is unlikely that all propositions are equally valid, however. Here we extend recent finite element (FE) analyses of enamel microstructure (Shimizu and Macho, 2008) to enquire about the range of loading directions (i.e., kinematics) to which A. anamensis enamel microstructure/molars could safely be subjected. The rationale underlying this study is the observation that hard brittle foods are broken down in crush, while tough foods require shear. The findings are compared with those of Pan and Gorilla. Eighteen detailed FE models of enamel microstructure were created and analysed. The results highlight the uniqueness of A. anamensis dental structure and imply that mastication in this species included a greater shear component than in Pan, as well as a wider range of loading directions; it is similar to that in Gorilla in this respect. These findings are in accord with microwear studies (Grine et al., 2006a). Unlike either of the great apes, however, enamel microstructure of A. anamensis was found to be poorly equipped to withstand loading parallel to the dentino-enamel junction; such loading regimes are associated with mastication of soft fleshy fruits. This, together with broader morphological considerations, raises doubts as to whether A. anamensis was essentially a frugivore that expanded its dietary niche as a result of fluctuations in environmental conditions, e.g., during seasonal food shortages. Instead, it is more parsimonious to conclude that the habitual diet of A. anamensis differed considerably from that of either of the extant African great apes. Crown Copyright © 2009. Source


Nakamura M.,Kyoto University | Nishida T.,Japan Monkey Center
American Journal of Primatology | Year: 2013

Among cultural behaviors of chimpanzees, the developmental processes of complex skills involved in tool use are relatively well known. However, few studies have examined the ontogeny of social customs that do not require complex skills. Thus, in this study, we describe the developmental process of the grooming hand-clasp (GHC), one of the well-known social customs of chimpanzees at Mahale. We have collected 383 cases of GHC where at least one of the participants was 15 years old or younger during 1994-2007. First performances of GHC with the mother were observed at around 4-6 years old; the earliest observed age was 4 years and 4 months old. The first performances of GHC with nonrelated females were at around age 9 years, and those with adult males at around 11 years. However, some orphans engaged in GHC earlier than nonorphans. By gradually expanding GHC partners from the mother to other females and then to males, chimpanzees increased the number of GHC partners with age. Young males were observed to perform GHC with larger numbers of partners than were young females. GHC by young chimpanzees was shorter in duration than that among adults. Overall, the ontogeny of GHC showed several dissimilarities with that of tool use and was more an extension of the development of typical grooming behavior. For example, infants did not try to perform GHC initially; instead, mothers were more active in the earliest stages. These results suggest that not all socially learned cultural behaviors are acquired in the way of learning tool use. There may be various ways of learning behavioral patterns that are performed continuously in a group and that consequently comprise culture in chimpanzees. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Source


Langergraber K.E.,Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology | Boesch C.,Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology | Inoue E.,Kyoto University | Inoue-Murayama M.,Kyoto University | And 8 more authors.
Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences | Year: 2011

The question of whether animals possess 'cultures' or 'traditions' continues to generate widespread theoretical and empirical interest. Studies of wild chimpanzees have featured prominently in this discussion, as the dominant approach used to identify culture in wild animals was first applied to them. This procedure, the 'method of exclusion,' begins by documenting behavioural differences between groups and then infers the existence of culture by eliminating ecological explanations for their occurrence. The validity of this approach has been questioned because genetic differences between groups have not explicitly been ruled out as a factor contributing to between-group differences in behaviour. Here we investigate this issue directly by analysing genetic and behavioural data from nine groups of wild chimpanzees. We find that the overall levels of genetic and behavioural dissimilarity between groups are highly and statistically significantly correlated. Additional analyses show that only a very small number of behaviours vary between genetically similar groups, and that there is no obvious pattern as to which classes of behaviours (e.g. tool-use versus communicative) have a distribution that matches patterns of betweengroup genetic dissimilarity. These results indicate that genetic dissimilarity cannot be eliminated as playing a major role in generating group differences in chimpanzee behaviour. © 2010 The Royal Society. Source


Matsumura A.,National Defense Medical College | Gunji H.,Ibaraki University | Takahashi Y.,National Defense Medical College | Nishida T.,Japan Monkey Center | Okada M.,Teikyo Heisei University
International Journal of Primatology | Year: 2010

To understand the mechanical effects of different modes of locomotion on the femoral neck of chimpanzees, we investigated the cross-sectional morphology of the femoral neck of 4 chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii) collected from the Mahale Mountains, Tanzania. We performed serial computed tomography (CT) scans of the neck from the femoral head to the base of the neck perpendicular to the long axis of the neck. We measured the cortical thickness of the serial 5 cross sections of the neck region every 45° around the circumference, i. e., 8 points per section, and examined the cross-sectional properties of the mid-section. When we compared the superior and inferior parts of the cortical thickness of the femoral neck, the inferior part exhibited the greatest cortical thickness whereas the superior part had the smallest values in every specimen. Researchers have also observed such regional differences between superior and inferior cortical thicknesses in bipedal humans and other primates, although these differences are not as large in the chimpanzee as in bipedal hominini. The present study differed from the past study on hominini and chimpanzees in that the superior anterior (SA) part exhibited greater cortical thickness in chimpanzees. We believe these observations reflect the structural strengthening of parts of the chimpanzee femoral neck that is needed to accommodate the mechanical loads imposed by arboreal vertical climbing and terrestrial quadrupedal and bipedal locomotion. © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010. Source

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