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The Chimpanzees of Bossou and Nimba

A comprehensive overview of three decades of research and studies conducted at Bossou and surrounding areas
Numerous contributions covering an array of topics including ecology, social behaviour, culture, and conservation
Appendices detail previously unpublished or updated data, a full list of related publications, plus a comprehensive list of all research contributors and visitors

Series: Primatology Monographs

By: Tetsuro Matsuzawa (Editor), Tatyana Humle (Editor), Yukimaru Sugiyama (Editor)

469 pages, 4 plates with colour photos; b/w photos, b/w illustrations, b/w maps, tables


Paperback | Dec 2013 | #211332 | ISBN-13: 9784431547723
Availability: Usually dispatched within 1-2 weeks Details
NHBS Price: £40.99 $50/€46 approx
Hardback | Jan 2011 | #189218 | ISBN-13: 9784431539209
Availability: Usually dispatched within 1-2 weeks Details
NHBS Price: £185.50 $227/€208 approx

About this book

The chimpanzees of Bossou in Guinea, West Africa, form a unique community which displays an exceptional array of tool use behaviors and behavioral adaptations to coexistence with humans. This community of Pan troglodytes verus has contributed more than three decades of data to the field of cultural primatology, especially chimpanzees' flexible use of stones to crack open nuts and of perishable tools during foraging activities. The Chimpanzees of Bossou and Nimba highlights the special contribution of the long-term research at Bossou and more recent studies in surrounding areas, particularly in the Nimba Mountains and the forest of Diécké, to our understanding of wild chimpanzees' tool use, cognitive development, lithic technology and culture. This compilation of research principally strives to uncover the complexity of the mind and behavioral flexibility of our closest living relatives. The Chimpanzees of Bossou and Nimba also reveals the necessity for ongoing efforts to conserve chimpanzees in the region. Chimpanzees have shed more light on our evolutionary origins than any other extant species in the world, yet their numbers in the wild are rapidly declining. In that sense, the Bossou chimpanzees and their neighbors clearly embody an invaluable cultural heritage for humanity as a whole.

"This is a superb synthesis of a ground-breaking corpus of research over decades; it sets the standards for field study of chimpanzees in West Africa, and more widely."
– William C. McGrew, Primates, Vol. 53 (1), January, 2012

"This volume presents 40 papers from some 30 contributors [...] that pull together the considerable achievement of the Kyoto University Primate Research Institute in West Africa. [...] the papers in the collection explore the diversity of chimpanzee tool manufacture and the big questions still surrounding ape culture and its transmission. [...] Well written, the collection of papers is accessible to the nonspecialist, making it a detailed species portrait of great merit. Lavishly illustrated, it has seven appendices, full index and references."
– Stephen P. Tomkins, The Biologist, Vol. 59 (1), March, 2012

"This latest addition [...] provides an impressive overview of the varied approaches that have been used by a multitude of field workers to examine aspects of the stone-tool culture at Bossou and several other sites. [...] this book comes with a DVD [Please note that this only applies to the hardback, the paperback has links to an online repository for this. - NHBS]. [...] The book/DVD combination will give you a very immediate sense of how lucky the researchers of Bossou and Nimba are to work with such fascinating animals and it is certainly worth having in one's library."
– Alexander V. Georgiev, Primate Eye, June, 2012

"The data and discussion in this volume contain valuable information on the behavior, ecology, and conservation of these highly vulnerable Western chimpanzee populations. [...] This book will be most relevant to primatologists interested in cognition and material culture, and conservationists interested in the interface between local people and wildlife. [...] This is a welcome addition to the handful of existing books on wild chimpanzees. [...] one gains a more complete picture of Western chimpanzees and a broader understanding of chimpanzee behavioral and ecological diversity."
– Rebecca M. Stumpf, The Quarterly Review of Biology, Vol. 87 (3), September, 2012


Part 1: Introduction
1 Bossou: 33 Years

Part 2: History and Ecology
2 Location and Ecology
3 The Demography and Reproductive Parameters of Bossou Chimpanzees
4 The "Prehistory" Before 1976: Looking Back on Three Decades of Research on Bossou Chimpanzees
5 The Chimpanzees of West Africa: From "Man-Like Beast" to "Our Endangered Cousin"

Part 3: Culture: Tool manufacture and use
6 The Tool Repertoire of Bossou Chimpanzees
7 Stone Tools for Nut-Cracking
8 Use of Leaves for Drinking Water
9 Ant-Dipping: How Ants have Shed Light on Culture
10 Pestle-Pounding Behavior: The Key to the Coexistence of Humans and Chimpanzees
11 Algae Scooping Remains a Puzzle
12 Ant Fishing in Trees: Invention and Modification of a New Tool-Use Behavior
13 Log Doll: Pretence in Wild Chimpanzees
14 Animal Toying

Part 4: Stone tool use: Observation and experiments
15 Extensive Surveys of Chimpanzee Stone Tools: From the Telescope to the Magnifying Glass
16 Field Experiments of Tool-Use
17 Clues to Culture? The Coula- and Panda-Nut Experiments
18 From Handling Stones and Nuts to Tool-Use
19 The Emergence of Stone-Tool Use in Captive Chimpanzees
20 A Gibsonian Motor Analysis of the Nut-Cracking Technique
21 Education by Master-Apprenticeship

Part 5: Social life and Social intelligence
22 The Crop-Raiders of the Sacred Hill
23 Behavioral Flexibility and Division of Roles in Chimpanzee Road-Crossing
24 Play Behaviors Involving the Use of Objects in Young Chimpanzees at Bossou
25 Chimpanzee Mothers Carry the Mummified Remains of Their Dead Infants: Three Case Reports from Bossou
26 Comparison of Social Behaviors

Part 6: Adjacent Communities
27 The Chimpanzees of Yeale, Nimba
28 Chimpanzees in the Seringbara Region of the Nimba Mountains
29 Chimpanzees in the Eastern Part of the Nimba Mountains Biosphere Reserve: Gouela II and Dere Forest
30 Diecke Forest, Guinea: Delvinginto Chimpanzee Behavior Using Stone Tool Surveys
31 From Bossou to the Forests of Liberia

Part 7: Conservation
32 The 2003 Epidemic of a Flu-Like Respiratory Disease at Bossou
33 Microclimate and Moving Pattern
34 Genetic Variation in the Chimpanzees of Bossou and Nimba
35 Intestinal Bacteria in Chimpanzees in Bossou: A Preliminary Study of Their Nutritional Implication
36 Health Monitoring
37 Green Corridor Project: Planting Trees in the Savanna Between Bossou and Nimba
38 Environmental Education and Community Development in and Around Bossou
39 Conservation Issues in the Nimba Mountains
40 Chimpanzees in Guinea and in West Africa

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Prof. Tetsuro Matsuzawa is world renowned for blending captive and field approaches to advance our understanding and appreciation of chimpanzee intelligence. He leads the Ai-project and is the director of Primate Research Institute of the University of Kyoto, Japan. He is also the director of the Bossou/Nimba field research station. He has more than 30 years of experience with working with chimpanzees in captivity, and more than 20 with chimpanzees in their natural habitat. He has received several prestigious awards for his achievements so far including the Prince Chichibu Memorial Science Award in 1991, the Jane Goodall Award in 2001 and the Medal with Purple Ribbon in 2004. He is also a member of the executive committee of the IUCN (The International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources) Primate Specialist Group on Great Ape Conservation.

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