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Chimp Behavior

When Dr. Goodall started her study of chimpanzees in 1960, very little was known about their behavior in the wild. Since then, studies analyzing almost every aspect of chimpanzees’ multifaceted behavior have sprung up across Africa. In the years since Dr. Goodall began, scientists have reaped a bounty of data from chimpanzee study sites, yielding new insights not only into chimpanzee culture, but into our own culture as well.

Chimpanzees culture is much like human culture: groups in different areas share different cultures. Tool-making is a good example of this variation. Chimpanzees in Gombe use long twigs and alter them for better termite fishing while chimpanzees of the Tai Forest in Cote d'Ivoire are more often seen nut-cracking with rocks and planed surfaces. Even chimpanzees living in separated areas in the same countries will exhibit different cultures and behaviors.

But what kind of behaviors do most sub-species and groups of chimpanzees share? General behaviors like group structuring, communication, and hunting practices are often common from chimpanzee group to chimpanzee group, and even these factors are never constant! Click here to find out more about the fascinating behaviors of chimpanzees!