Chimpanzee Material Culture
Implications for Human Evolution
By (author) William C. McGrew
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Chimpanzee Material Culture by William C. McGrew
Book DescriptionThe chimpanzee, of all other living species, is our closest relation, with whom we last shared a common ancestor about 5 million years ago. These African apes make and use a rich and varied kit of tools, and of the primates they are the only consistent and habitual tool-users and tool-makers. Chimpanzees meet the criteria of culture as originally defined for human beings by socio-cultural anthropologists. 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 that live by foraging (hunter-gatherers) is surprisingly narrow, at least for food-getting. Different communities of wild chimpanzees have different tool-kits, and not all of this regional and local variation can be explained by the demands of the physical and biotic environments in which they live. Some differences are likely to be customs based on socially derived and symbolically encoded traditions. Chimpanzees serve as heuristic, referential models for the reconstruction of cultural evolution in apes and humans from a common ancestor. However, chimpanzees are not humans, and key differences exist between them, though many of these apparent contrasts remain to be explored empirically and theoretically.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780521423717
(228mm x 152mm x 17mm)
Imprint: Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publish Date: 22-Oct-1992
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Books By Author William C. McGrew
Great Ape Societies, Paperback (July 1996)
Unique synthesis of field, zoo and lab work on all Great Ape species, giving insight into human origins.
Chimpanzee Material Culture, Hardback (October 1992)» View all books by William C. McGrew
The implications of tool-use behaviour in chimpanzees for reconstructing the evolutionary origins of human culture are discussed in this book.
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