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Photo: John Mitani, Ngogo Chimpanzee Project

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What Makes Us Human? Lessons from the Study of Wild Chimpanzees

Speaker(s): John Mitani,

Houston, TX

April 17, 2018 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

$18

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.

This event is produced in partnership with the Houston Museum of Natural Science.

Sponsored by:
The Brown Foundation, Inc.
Ann and Gordon Getty
Camilla and George Smith

Details

Date:
April 17, 2018
Time:
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Cost:
$18
Event Category:
Event Tags:
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Website:
http://store.hmns.org/Selection.aspx?item=3921&sch=980619

Organizer

The Leakey Foundation

Venue

The Houston Museum of Natural Science
5555 Hermann Park Drive
Houston, TX 77030 United States
+ Google Map
Phone:
(713) 639-4629
Website:
http://www.hmns.org/
John Mitani

John Mitani is the James N. Spuhler Collegiate Professor and associate chair of anthropology at the University of Michigan. He is an animal behaviorist who studies the behavior of our closest living relatives, the apes. His current research involves a long-term study of an unusually large community of chimpanzees at Ngogo, Kibale National Park, Uganda. Mitani is a member of the Scientific Executive Committee of The Leakey Foundation.

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