search
Archaeology Magazine

A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

archaeology
subscribe
Special Introductory Offer!

Study Suggests Chimpanzee Cultural Diversity Under Threat

Monday, March 11, 2019

chimpanzee culture transmissionLEIPZIG, GERMANY—According to a Science News report, deforestation and poaching threatens not only the survival of chimpanzee populations, but the transmission of their culture and adaptations to the local environment as well. Beginning in 2010, researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology installed automated video cameras at 46 sites, collected millions of one-minute clips of chimpanzee activities, such as stone throwing, cracking nuts with stones, and using sticks to obtain termites, honey, and algae, and then visited the sites and looked for evidence of what the chimps had eaten and what tools they had used. They also reviewed records of some 450 chimpanzee studies dating back to 1951 for information of what chimpanzee communities did in the past. The impact of human infrastructure and population density on chimpanzee lands was assessed with satellite images. Ammie Kalan of the Max Planck Institute said analysis of the data indicates that 31 different chimpanzee behaviors are 88 percent less likely to occur in the areas most affected by the presence of humans than in areas least affected by human activities. Kalan and her colleagues recommend the creation of chimpanzee cultural heritage sites for conservation purposes. For more, go to “No Changeups on the Savannah.”

Advertisement

Advertisement


Advertisement