Home Page > Article > Chimpanzee Culture

Human encroachment appears to be threatening chimpanzees’ behavioral diversity, finds a study in Science. Previous research has found that chimpanzees pass on some behavioral traditions–such as using sticks to fish for algae or cracking nuts with stones–that differ from group to group. Researchers combed through new data and previously published studies that looked at 31 different chimpanzee behaviors in 144 communities. Compared with chimpanzees in areas relatively unaffected by humans, chimpanzees in areas with high human impact showed an 88-percent reduced probability of using these culturally transmitted behaviors. The researchers posit that this finding may be related to population loss and habitat fragmentation, which reduce the chances for chimpanzees to learn behaviors from one another. (Monitor on Psychology)

Susie Bean Gives