Chimpanzees and their sister species, the bonobo, are humankind’s closest living relatives. Because of this close evolutionary relationship, chimpanzees provide a model system to evaluate claims about human uniqueness.
John Mitani’s 23-year study of an unusually large community of chimpanzees at Ngogo in Kibale National Park, Uganda, continues to challenge our notions of what makes us human.
In this talk, Mitani will review findings that reveal some interesting parallels between humans and chimpanzees with respect to friendships, longevity, and cooperation. Humans form long-lasting friendships, live a very long time, and are an unusually cooperative species. Studies of the Ngogo chimpanzees indicate that the gap between them and us in these regards may be smaller than previously thought. These findings furnish new insights into chimpanzee behavior and are particularly relevant as we continue to struggle to conserve the dwindling populations of these animals.
Ann and Gordon Getty
Camilla and George Smith