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Primate Research Institute, Kyoto University
Inuyama, Aichi 484-8506, JAPAN
TEL. +81-568-63-0567
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Primate Research Institute,
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Nov. 16, 17
SAGA-2nd Symposium
(English / Japanese)

Nov. 18 - 20

COE Symposium

Nov. 21, 22
CBSG Meeting


Abstracts for COE / SAGA Symposium


Report on SAGA2/COE Symposium


Inuyama International Sightseeing Center Freude
(English / Japanese)

Primate Research Institute Home Page
(English / Japanese)


      The COE international Symposium, November 1999, "Evolution of the Apes and the Origin of Human Beings" is held in Inuyama, Japan, under the auspices of Ministry of Education, Science, Sports and Culture. The symposium has two satellite meetings of SAGA (Support for African/Asian Great Apes) and CBSG (Conservation Breeding Specialist Group for bonobos). It gives me a great pleasure to welcome you to Inuyama for this very special event. This symposium might be the first truly worldwide meeting on the Apes and Human Beings in the primatology and anthropology spheres at the end of the 20th century.
      Japan is a special country because it has an indigenous primate species (Macaca fuscata), known as snow monkeys, and there are also many primatologists. Japanese primatologists led by the late Imanishi started the study on wild Japanese monkeys living in Koshima island in 1948. With the accumulation of knowledge on wild Japanese monkeys, Imanishi and his colleagues first stepped into Africa in 1958 and started the socio-ecological study of African great apes. The long term studies on chimpanzees and bonobos continues in Mahale, Bossou, Wamba, and the other several research sites.
In addition to the socio-ecological studies, various disciplines have contributed for the study of living and fossil primates. The purpose of this symposium is threefold. Firstly, it aims to combine the various disciplines such as Ecology, Sociology, Ethology, Psychology, Neuroscience, Molecular Biology, Physical Anthropology, and Paleontology to illuminate the evolution of the apes and the origin of human beings. Secondly, it aims to provide a rare opportunity for exchange of information and discussion among leading scientists from various disciplines with Primatology. Thirdly, it aims to promote future scientific collaboration between Japanese and other researchers of apes and humans from around the world. Participants will have the presentation describing her/his major research topic reviewing past and present trends plus her/his thoughts about its future directions.
      Recent fossil findings of the Australopithecines suggest that they are more similar to living apes than to modern humans with regards to skeletal features. The early hominids exhibit a high degree of sexual dimorphism in body size with a large face and relatively small brain. Recent molecular biological studies have also shown that the living apes are very close to humans. Several million years ago, the early hominids differentiated from a common ancestor of the African great apes. Lithic technology and the genus Homo are estimated to have emerged around 2 to 2.5 million years ago. Given these findings, the time is now ripe to reconsider the evolution of human sociality, culture, cognition, and behavior.
      A key focus of the symposium will be to bring together the results from long-term laboratory and field research. From this we wish to reconfirm what we have learned about the apes through our collective long-term experience with them. The symposium will consist of three major topics: "ape social systems and culture", "cognition and behavior", and "evolutionary anthropology". To be held in conjunction with the COE symposium are two satellite meetings, SAGA2 and CBSG. All participants are welcome to join these satellite meetings to be held before and after to the main COE symposium. The symposia are open to attendance by all interested international scientists. At the time of the meetings, Japan is especially attractive, with clear blue sky, pleasant temperature, and autumn leaves.
      We, the organizers of the COE symposium welcome you to Inuyama, and hope you enjoy this meeting.

Chair person
COE International Symposium, November1999

Copyright (C) 1999 COE International Symposium