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Human impact erodes chimpanzee behavioral diversity


Chimpanzees are well known for their extraordinary diversity of behaviors, with some behaviors also exhibiting cultural variation. An international research team led by the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology and the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research investigated whether chimpanzee behavioral diversity is reduced under high human impact. By comparing sets of chimpanzee behaviors across a large number of social groups exposed to different levels of human disturbance, the scientists found a reduction in behavioral diversity when human impact was high.


Video abstract of Human impact erodes chimpanzee behavioral diversity in Science
License: PanAf/MPI-EVA

Adult male chimpanzee doing an accumulative stone throw in the Boé, Guinea-Bissau
License: PanAf/MPI-EVA/Chimbo Foundation


A chimpanzee in Loango National Park, Gabon attempts to extract underground honey.
License: Loango Ape Project/MPI-EVA

A chimpanzee fishes for termites in Kayan, Senegal.
License: PanAf/MPI-EVA

A mother cracks nuts in Sapo National Park, Liberia while her infant watches.
License: PanAf/MPI-EVA/Wild Chimpanzee Foundation

An adult female chimpanzee demonstrates termite fishing in Gashaka-Gumti National Park in Nigeria.
License: PanAf/MPI-EVA/Gashaka Primate Project

Two adult male chimpanzees fish for algae in Bakoun, Guinea.
License: PanAf/MPI-EVA

A female chimpanzee carries as many cocoa pods possible from a plantation in Bia-Goaso Forest Block, Ghana. 
License: PanAf/MPI-EVA

A female chimpanzee demonstrates water dipping while her infant observes in Comoé National Park in Côte d’Ivoire.
License: PanAf/MPI-EVA/Comoé Chimpanzee Conservation Project