Schlafly Bottleworks, Maplewood, MO
The Truth About Chimps
Crickette M. Sanz, Ph.D.,
Assistant Professor of Anthropologywith
David B. Morgan, Ph.D.
Research Associate Professor of Anthropology
Moderated by: Cynthia Wichelman, M.D.
With the exception of humans, chimpanzees (genus Pan) show the most diverse and complex tool using behaviors of all extant species. Using new research methods to study chimpanzee tool use in the dense forests of the Congo Basin, scientists at Washington University in St. Louis have discovered complex technological skills among these apes that have expanded our perceptions of chimpanzee cognition and material culture. Further, the rich behavioral diversity and social inheritance system of wild chimpanzees has important, but often overlooked conservation value. As recent studies have shown, there are still many important discoveries to be made in these remote tropical forests.
Professor Sanz has been studying chimpanzees and gorillas for 11 years, near the main Ebola virus hot zone. When an ape dies, it is her team's responsibility to check for the virus as a cause of death. In February, National Geographic beautifully documented the challenges they face. Recently, the source of the closest strain to human malaria was discovered in these apes as well.
See also: The Goualougo Triangle Ape Project
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