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 book 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 Diecke, 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. This work 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.
Readers can enjoy video clips illustrating unique behaviors of Bossou chimpanzees, in an exclusive DVD accompanying the hardcover or at a dedicated website described in the softcover.
Publisher: Springer Verlag, Japan
Number of pages: 465
Weight: 867 g
Dimensions: 235 x 155 x 28 mm
From the reviews:
"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. ... 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)