Abstract # 33:

Scheduled for Saturday, September 17, 2011 02:30 PM-02:45 PM: Session 8 (Meeting Room 408) Oral Presentation


TOOL USE IN BONOBOS (PAN PANISCUS): A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF TOOL SELECTION AND SOCIOECOLOGICAL FACTORS INFLUENCING TOOL USE ACQUISITION AND BEHAVIOR.

K. Boose, F. White and M. Waller
University of Oregon, Department of Anthropology, 304 Condon Hall, 1218 Kincaid St, Eugene, OR 97403, USA
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Explanations for why some species of great apes readily use tools while others do not have primarily focused on differences in ecology and social factors such as proximity tolerance and grouping patterns. Captive studies comparing chimpanzee and gorilla tool use behavior support the argument that the fission-fusion grouping pattern of chimpanzees promotes behaviors that encourage tool use invention and acquisition through social-learning. Bonobos also have a fission-fusion grouping pattern with less seasonal variation in food availability. Bonobos in Lomako Forest (Democratic Republic of the Congo) encounter five species of termites: Macrotermes, Pseudacanthotermes spiniger, Schedorhinotermes sp., and 2 species of Cubitermes. Macrotermes mounds are present in high density (246 per km^2) with 60% of mounds showing recent termite activity. Evidence of tool use were found on 4 mounds. This study presents data from a captive group of naive bonobos at the Columbus Zoo given access to a baited artificial termite mound modeled on naturally occurring tool use opportunities. Tool modification and selection data, such as shape, size, and pattern of wear, are compared to data on wild bonobo tool material. Captive data on tool use, such as latencies to attempt and to succeed, as well as data on social behaviors surrounding use of the mound, such as number of neighbors, are compared to similar data taken from captive chimpanzee and gorilla populations.