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Appears in Collections:Psychology eTheses
Title: Chimpanzee material culture: implications for human evolution
Author(s): McGrew, William Clement
Supervisor(s): Bowes, Alison M.
Issue Date: 1990
Publisher: University of Stirling
Abstract: The chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes, Pongidae) among all other living species, is our closest relation, with whom we last shared a common ancestor less than five million years ago. These African apes make and use a rich and varied kit of tools. Of the primates, and even of the other Great Apes, they are the only consistent and habitual tool-users. Chimpanzees meet the criteria of working definitions of culture as originally devised for human beings in socio-cultural anthropology. They show sex differences in using tools to obtain and to process a variety of plant and animal foods. The technological gap between chimpanzees and human societies living by foraging (hunter-gatherers) is surprisingly narrow, at least for food-getting. Different communities of chimpanzees have different tool-kits, and not all of this regional and local variation can be explained by the varied physical and biotic environments in which they live. Some differences are likely customs based on non-functionally derived and symbolically encoded traditions. Chimpanzees serve as heuristic, referential models for the reconstruction of cultural evolution in apes and humans from an ancestral hominoid. However, chimpanzees are not humans, and key differences exist between them, though many of these apparent contrasts remain to be explored empirically and theoretically.
Type: Thesis or Dissertation
Affiliation: School of Natural Sciences

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