JAPANESE TOP Message from the Director Information Faculty list Research Cooperative Research Projects Entrance Exam Visitors Publication Job Vacancy INTERNSHIP PROGRAM Links Access HANDBOOK FOR INTERNATIONAL RESEARCHERS Map of Inuyama
BONOBO Chimpanzee "Ai" Crania photos Itani Jun'ichiro archives Open datasets for behavioral analysis Guidelines for Care and Use of Nonhuman Primates(pdf) Study material catalogue/database Guideline for field research of non-human primates 2019(pdf) Primate Genome DB

Primate Research Institute, Kyoto University
Inuyama, Aichi 484-8506, JAPAN
TEL. +81-568-63-0567
(Administrative Office)
FAX. +81-568-63-0085

Copyright (c)
Primate Research Institute,
Kyoto University All rights reserved.


Report on SAGA2/COE Symposium

Hunting, Tools, and Sociality: A new evolutionary scenario for chimpanzees and humans

Boesch Christophe
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
Leipzig, Germany

Carnivorouschimpanzee indigenous in the Taï Forest, Ivory Coast

     Chimpanzees and humans possess in common three behavioural properties that distinguish them from the rest of the primates and mammals: They are the only species in which all know living populations use regularly many different types of tools, hunt regularly at least a few mammal species for meat, and live in large groups with a flexible fission-fusion social structure. If some models of human evolution have considered one or two of these behavioural patterns, none has stressed the importance of the simultaneous presence of the three of them within the chimpanzee-human clade. I propose here an evolutionary scenario of the evolution in chimpanzees and humans of these three abilities and explain how this was possible thank to the appearance of new cognitive capacities in this clade.
     For flexible tool use and hunting to evolve, the acquisition of a more elaborate understanding of causality as well as some notions of a theory of mind is required. These cognitive abilities progressively appeared in our common ancestors when they started to hunt arboreal prey for meat within flexible fission-fusion social groups. The flexibility required to live in a fission-fusion social structure was an important precondition for the acquisition of an elaborate understanding of causality and for being able to adopt the perspective of the prey within trees, both abilities essential to hunt successfully. Once those cognitive abilities are acquired, it became possible to anticipate the benefit of tool use in novel situations, which led to both a more flexible tool repertoire and more complex tool uses.

Boesch, C. and Boesch-Achermann, H. 2000. The Chimpanzees of the Taï Forest: Behavioural Ecology and Evolution. Oxford: Oxford University Press.


Copyright (C) 1999- COE International Symposium