Comparison of Social Behaviors

Part of the Primatology Monographs book series


As a short-term visiting researcher to Bossou, I describe the social behaviors of Bossou chimpanzees in comparison to those of my primary study population, the Mahale chimpanzees in East Africa. First, I briefly review past studies of social behavior at Bossou. I then report one case of a rise in social rank by an adolescent male and one possible case of boundary patrolling by three mature males that occurred during my stay. In addition to these anecdotes, I describe some behaviors of Bossou chimpanzees that are absent or rare in Mahale, such as mutual genital touch, heel tap, index to palm, and sputter. These behaviors occurred more frequently than tool-use during my stay, suggesting that rarity may not explain the lack of descriptions of these patterns. Finally, I argue the importance of the subtle social interactions of females, which may be critical to understanding the unique characteristics of the Bossou group.


Mature Male Wild Chimpanzee Alpha Male Party Size Estrous Female 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



I thank COSTECH, TAWIRI, TANAPA, MMNP, and MMWRC of Tanzania and DNRST of Guinea for permission to conduct field research. I also thank G. Ohashi, G. Yamakoshi, and the entire staff of IREB for cooperation at Bossou, Y. Sugiyama and T. Matsuzawa for offering me the chance to visit Bossou, and T. Nishida for continuous guidance and support of my research. The field study was financially supported by grants from the Japanese MEXT (#12375003, #16255007, #19255008 to T. Nishida).


  1. Boesch C (1995) Innovation in wild chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). Int J Primatol 16:1–16CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Boesch C (1996b) Three approaches for assessing chimpanzee culture. In: Russon AE, Bard KA, Parker ST (eds) Reaching into thought. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 404–429Google Scholar
  3. Goodall J (1983) Population dynamics during a 15 year period in one community of free-living chimpanzees in the Gombe National Park, Tanzania. Z Tierpsychol 61:1–60CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Goodall J (1989) Glossary of chimpanzee behaviors. Jane Goodall Institute, TucsonGoogle Scholar
  5. Hayaki H (1990) Social context of pant-grunting in young chimpanzees. In: Nishida T (ed) The chimpanzees of the Mahale Mountains: sexual and life history strategies. University of Tokyo Press, Tokyo, pp 189–206Google Scholar
  6. Hockings KJ, Humle T, Anderson JR, Biro D, Sousa C, Ohashi G, Matsuzawa T (2007) Chimpanzees share forbidden fruit. PLoS ONE 2(9):e886. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0000886 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Humle T (1999) New record of fishing for termites (Macrotermes) by the chimpanzees of Bossou (Pan troglodytes verus), Guinea. Pan Africa News 6:3–4Google Scholar
  8. Kitamura K (1989) Genito-genital contacts in the pygmy chimpanzee (Pan paniscus). Afr Study Monogr 10:49–67Google Scholar
  9. Matsuzawa T (2006a) Bossou: 30 years. Pan Africa News 13:16–19Google Scholar
  10. Matsuzawa T, Yamakoshi G, Humle T (1996) Newly found tool use by wild chimpanzees: algae scooping (in Japanese). Primate Res 12:283Google Scholar
  11. Matsuzawa T, Biro D, Humle T, Inoue-Nakamura N, Tonooka R, Yamakoshi G (2001) Emergence of culture in wild chimpanzees: education by master-apprenticeship. In: Matsuzawa T (ed) Primate origins of human cognition and behavior. Springer, Tokyo, pp 557–574CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Matsuzawa T, Tomonaga M, Tanaka M (eds) (2006) Cognitive development in chimpanzees. Springer, TokyoGoogle Scholar
  13. McGrew WC, Collins DA (1985) Tool use by wild chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) to obtain termites (Macrotermes herus) in the Mahale Mountains, Tanzania. Am J Primatol 9:47–62CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. McGrew WC, Tutin CEG (1978) Evidence for a social custom in wild chimpanzees? Man 13:234–251CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Mitani JC, Merriwether DA, Zhang C (2000) Male affiliation, cooperation and kinship in wild chimpanzees. Anim Behav 59:885–893PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Muroyama Y, Sugiyama Y (1994) Grooming relationships in two species of chimpanzees. In: Wrangham RW, McGrew WC, de Waal FBM, Heltone PG (eds) Chimpanzee cultures. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, pp 169–180Google Scholar
  17. Nakamura M (2000) Is human conversation more efficient than chimpanzee grooming? Comparison of clique sizes. Hum Nat 11:281–297CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Nakamura M (2002) Grooming-hand-clasp in Mahale M group chimpanzees: implication for culture in social behaviors. In: Boesch C, Hohmann G, Marchant LF (eds) Behavioural diversity in chimpanzees and bonobos. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 71–83CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Nakamura M (2003a) ‘Gatherings’ of social grooming among wild chimpanzees: implications for evolution of sociality. J Hum Evol 44:59–71PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Nakamura M (2003b) Questions about chimpanzee culture studies (in Japanese). Ecosophia 12:55–61Google Scholar
  21. Nakamura M, Nishida T (2006) Subtle behavioral variation in wild chimpanzees, with special reference to Imanishi’s concept of kaluchua. Primates 47:35–42PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Nakamura M, Ohashi G (2003) Eleven-year old male chimpanzee outranks ex-alpha adult male at Bossou. Pan Africa News 10:9–11Google Scholar
  23. Nakamura M, McGrew WC, Marchant LF, Nishida T (2000) Social scratch: another custom in wild chimpanzees? Primates 41:237–248CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Newton-Fisher NE (1999) Association by male chimpanzees: a social tactic? Behaviour 136:705–730CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Nishida T (1973) The ant-gathering behavior by the use of tools among wild chimpanzees of the Mahale Mountains. J Hum Evol 2:357–370CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Nishida T (1980) The leaf-clipping display: a newly-discovered expressive gesture in wild chimpanzees. J Hum Evol 9:117–128CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Nishida T (1989) Social interaction between resident and immigrant female chimpanzees. In: Heltne PG, Marquardt LA (eds) Understanding chimpanzees. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, pp 68–89Google Scholar
  28. Nishida T (ed) (1990b) The chimpanzees of the Mahale Mountains. University of Tokyo Press, TokyoGoogle Scholar
  29. Nishida T (1994) Review of recent findings on Mahale chimpanzees: implications and future research directions. In: Wrangham RW, McGrew WC, de Waal FBM, Heltne PG (eds) Chimpanzee cultures. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, pp 373–396Google Scholar
  30. Nishida T (1997) Sexual behavior of adult male chimpanzees of the Mahale Mountains National Park, Tanzania. Primates 38:379–398CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Nishida T, Hosaka K (1996) Coalition strategies among adult male chimpanzees of the Mahale Mountains, Tanzania. In: McGrew WC, Marchant LF, Nishida T (eds) Great ape societies. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 114–134CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Nishida T, Uehara S (1980) Chimpanzees, tools, and termites: another example from Tanzania. Curr Anthropol 21:671–672CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Nishida T, Wallauer W (2003) Leaf-pile pulling: an unusual play pattern in wild chimpanzees. Am J Primatol 60:167–173PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Nishida T, Kano T, Goodall J, McGrew WC, Nakamura M (1999) Ethogram and ethnography of Mahale chimpanzees. Anthropol Sci 107:141–188CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Nishida T, Uehara S, Kawanaka K (eds) (2002) The Mahale chimpanzees (in Japanese). Kyoto University Press, KyotoGoogle Scholar
  36. Nishida T, Mitani JC, Watts DP (2004) Variable grooming behaviours in wild chimpanzees. Folia Primatol 75:31–36PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Ohashi G (2006b) Bossou chimpanzees crossed the national border of Guinea into Liberia. Pan Africa News 13:10–12Google Scholar
  38. Ohashi G (2007) Papaya fruit sharing in wild chimpanzees at Bossou, Guinea. Pan Africa News 14:14–16Google Scholar
  39. Sakura O (1994) Factors affecting party size and composition of chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus) at Bossou, Guinea. Int J Primatol 15:167–181CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Sanz CM, Morgan DB (2007) Chimpanzee tool technology in the Goualougo Triangle, Republic of Congo. J Hum Evol 52:420–433PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Sugiyama Y (1981a) Observations on the population dynamics and behavior of wild chimpanzees at Bossou, Guinea, in 1979–1980. Primates 22:435–444CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Sugiyama Y (1988) Grooming interactions among adult chimpanzees at Bossou, Guinea with special reference to social structure. Int J Primatol 9:393–407CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Sugiyama Y (1989a) Description of some characteristic behaviors and discussion on their propagation process among chimpanzees of Bossou, Guinea. In: Sugiyama Y (ed) Behavioral studies of wild chimpanzees at Bossou, Guinea. Kyoto University Primate Research Institute, Inuyama, pp 43–76Google Scholar
  44. Sugiyama Y (1999) Socioecological factors of male chimpanzee migration at Bossou, Guinea. Primates 40:61–68PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Sugiyama Y, Koman J (1979a) Social structure and dynamics of wild chimpanzees at Bossou, Guinea. Primates 20:323–339CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Sugiyama Y, Koman J (1979b) Tool-using and making behavior in wild chimpanzees at Bossou, Guinea. Primates 20:513–524CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Sugiyama Y, Koman J, Sow MB (1988) Ant-catching wands of wild chimpanzees at Bossou, Guinea. Folia Primatol 51:56–60PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Takahata Y (1990) Social relationships among adult males. In: Nishida T (ed) The chimpanzees of the Mahale Mountains: sexual and life history strategies. University of Tokyo Press, Tokyo, pp 149–170Google Scholar
  49. Uehara S (1982) Seasonal changes in the techniques employed by wild chimpanzees in the Mahale Mountains, Tanzania, to feed on termites (Pseudocanthotermes spiniger). Folia Primatol 37:44–76PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Watts DP, Mitani JC (2001) Boundary patrols and intergroup encounters in wild chimpanzees. Behaviour 138:299–327CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Whiten A, Goodall J, McGrew WC, Nishida T, Reynolds V, Sugiyama Y, Tutin CEG, Wrangham RW, Boesch C (1999) Cultures in chimpanzees. Nature 399:682–685PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Wrangham RW, Clark AP, Isabirye-Basuta G (1992) Female social relationships and social organization of Kibale Forest chimpanzees. In: Nishida T, McGrew WC, Marler P, Pickford M, de Waal FBM (eds) Topics in primatology, vol 1. Human origins. University of Tokyo Press, Tokyo, pp 81–98Google Scholar
  53. Yamakoshi G (2004b) Food seasonality and socioecology in Pan: are West African chimpanzees another bonobo? Afr Study Monogr 25:45–60Google Scholar
  54. Yamakoshi G, Sugiyama Y (1995) Pestle-pounding behavior of wild chimpanzees at Bossou, Guinea: a newly observed tool-using behavior. Primates 36:489–500CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Zamma K (2002) Leaf-grooming by a wild chimpanzee in Mahale. Primates 43:87–90PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Zamma K, Fujita S (2004) Genito-genital rubbing among the chimpanzees of Mahale and Bossou. Pan Africa News 11:5–8Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Wildlife Research Center of Kyoto UniversityKyotoJapan

Personalised recommendations