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leaf technology and culture in chimpanzees of the Budongo forest, Uganda

Author Noémie LAMON
Director of thesis Klaus Zuberbühler
Co-director of thesis
Summary of thesis

A recent survey of wild chimpanzee groups across Africa showed that tools were used in order to gain access to food, to communicate, for hygiene and protection purpose. Unlike many other chimpanzee communities in Africa, the Sonso and the Waibira communities in the Budongo forest do not use sticks as tools, but instead have developed an extensive leaf technology. Leaves are used to produce sponges, to remove and inspect parasites, for medicinal purposes, in gestural communication, and in personal hygiene.


One focus of my research will be to try to understand when, during their development, the chimpanzees of the Budongo forest stop considering sticks as relevant tools but instead revert to leaves. In order to investigate this issue, I will, through observational and experimental data, compare object manipulation between the chimpanzees of Budongo forest and a group of chimpanzees, where frequent observations of sticks use as tool are made.


The second focus of my research will be to investigate in detail leaf-sponging in two neighbouring groups of chimpanzees in the Budongo forest. I will study the ontogeny of this behaviour and look for any individual and group differences regarding the manufacture of this tool.

Administrative delay for the defence
URL http://www2.unine.ch/compcog/page-27963.html