Chimpanzee Culturesby Richard W. Wrangham
Do chimpanzees have something akin to culture? Bringing together studies of behavioral variation within and among chimpanzees and bonobos --the sibling species of the genus Pan--this book provides the basis for answering this question. In Chimpanzee Cultures, the world's leading authorities on chimpanzees and bonobos chronicle the animals' behaviors/i>/i>
Do chimpanzees have something akin to culture? Bringing together studies of behavioral variation within and among chimpanzees and bonobos --the sibling species of the genus Pan--this book provides the basis for answering this question. In Chimpanzee Cultures, the world's leading authorities on chimpanzees and bonobos chronicle the animals' behaviors from one study site to the next, in both captive and wild groups, in laboratory and field settings.
This volume presents the best up-to-date collection of the current state of knowledge of most aspects of chimpanzee behaviour, and it spells out the dangers now facing the apes and their environments. The study of chimpanzee cultures is crying out for more information from the increasingly isolated and diminishing communities of these apes. This book shows what has to be done, and where.
James R. Anderson
Chimpanzee Cultures is a title to catch the eye...The aims are made explicit at the outset: to create a discipline of 'cultural primatology' by using the tools to the cultural sciences and encouraging the use of ethnography in comparing chimpanzee populations...The quality of material on the subject animals is high. All the papers are original, many containing previously unpublished data, and they do an excellent job of highlighting behavioural diversity...This is a book chiefly aimed at the scholarly community, yet it carries an important message for all of us. Wild chimpanzee populations continue to decline through habitat destruction and hunting for bush-meat: the bare bones of this are made clear in the book's final chapter by Jane Goodall. The dwindling of any species through human short-sightedness is depressing, but chimpanzees present a special case. Chimpanzee Cultures provides ample evidence that chimpanzees are not simply carbon copies of one another. The species may survive but the extinction of cultures may be proceeding as we speak.
This excellent volume introduces the state of the art in primatology. Its lessons are worth learning. There can be no philosophical understanding of what it means to be human apart from understanding what it means to be chimpanzee.
- Harvard University Press
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Meet the Author
Richard W. Wrangham is Ruth Moore Professor of Anthropology at Harvard University.
William McGrew is Professor of Anthropology and Zoology at Miami University (Ohio).
Frans B. M. de Waal is C. H. Candler Professor of Primate Behavior in the Psychology Department and Director of Living Links, part of the Yerkes Primate Center, Emory University.
Paul G. Heltne is President, Chicago Academy of Sciences.
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