Behavioral diversity among wild chimpanzees
Michio Nakamura (Kyoto University)
Paper short abstract:
Behaviors of wild chimpanzees differ significantly among different study populations. Some of such differences cannot simply be explained in terms of ecological or genetic differences. I will summarize recent findings of such behavioral diversity, or culture, among chimpanzees.
Paper long abstract:
Long-term studies of wild chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes), phylogenetically closest living species to us humans, have been conducted over decades. Accumulation of knowledge about their behaviors from different study sites across Africa has revealed that their behaviors differ significantly among different populations. On the other hand, many behavioral patterns are shared by most of the members within a social group and are consistent over decades. Because some of such behavioral variation among groups cannot simply be explained in terms of ecological or genetic differences, such behaviors are thought to be socially acquired and inherited within a group. Such behavioral diversity of chimpanzees is often called ﾓcultureﾔ by some primatologists, although there are hot debates over whether or not we should call it so. In this presentation, I will summarize recent findings of such behavioral diversity, or culture, among chimpanzees by introducing some examples of behaviors. Although many studies of chimpanzee culture focus on its material and technological aspects, i.e. various types of tool-use and object-use, I would like to emphasize that behavioral diversity in chimpanzees is not restricted to such a domain. Even a very subtle and simple behavioral patterns, such as how to scratch others, how to get an attention of the prospective mate, or how to squash a parasite, are somehow shared within a group but differ between groups.
Local differences in ecology and behavior of non-human primates: genetic variation or culture? (PSJ panel)