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This book addresses how skeletons can inform us about behaviour by describing skeletal lesions in the Gombe chimpanzees, relating them to known life histories whenever possible, and analyzing demographic patterns in the sample. This is of particular interest to both primatologists and skeletal analysts who have benefited from published data on a smaller, earlier skeletal sample from Gombe.
The Gombe skeletal collection is the largest collection of wild chimpanzees with known life histories in existence, and this work significantly expands the skeletal sample from this long-term research site (49 chimpanzees). Life and Death in the Gombe Chimpanzees explores topics of general interest to skeletal analysts such as demographic patterns, which injuries leave signs on the skeleton, and rates of healing, and discusses both qualitative and quantitative analysis of the patterning of lesions.
The book presents the data in a narrative style similar to that employed in Dr Goodall's seminal work The Chimpanzees of Gombe. Readers already familiar with the Gombe chimpanzees are likely to appreciate summaries of life events correlated to observable skeletal features. Life and Death in the Gombe Chimpanzees is especially relevant at this time to remind primate conservationists of the importance of the isolated chimpanzee population at Gombe National Park as well as the availability of the skeletons for study, both within the park itself as well as at the University of Minnesota.
1 The Gombe skeletal sample and case studies
2 Analysis of skeletal lesions
Dr. Claire A. Kirchhoff is a native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where she graduated from the Milwaukee Public School system. She then continued her education at the University of Minnesota, where she earned her BA, MA, and PhD from the Department of Anthropology. Her first faculty position was at the University of North Texas Health Science Center, where she was privileged to serve thousands of wonderful students over the course of six years. Dr. Kirchhoff now teaches human gross anatomy at Marquette University and continues to undertake scholarship on primate skeletal analysis. She lives on the south side of Milwaukee with her family.