Chimpanzees, tools, and climate : a cross-cultural comparison of chimpanzee technology and ecology

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Zajac, Adam J.
Hogue, S. Homes
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Thesis (M.A.)
Department of Anthropology
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This thesis compares the tool-using behaviors and environments of nine chimpanzee study sites. In addition, tool-use in other animals is discussed, as is the social behavior of chimpanzees and the different contributions of wild and laboratory studies. Research centers on two primary questions:  Do chimpanzee study sites differ significantly in the types of tool-using behaviors they employ?  Is the amount of tool-using behaviors related to annual variability in rainfall or the overall wetness of a site? No significant differences exist between the different communities being studied. A significant correlation was found between diversity of tool-using behaviors and perhumidity index, a measure of overall wetness of a particular area. Finally, no correlations were found between diversity of tool-using behaviors and annual variability and rainfall. This analysis casts further doubt on the hypothesis that hominin technology evolved as a response to living in dryer, more open environments.