Chimpanzee accumulative stone throwing

Hjalmar S. Kühl, Ammie K. Kalan, Mimi Arandjelovic, Floris Aubert, Lucy D'Auvergne, Annemarie Goedmakers, Sorrel Jones, Laura Kehoe, Sebastien Regnaut, Alexander Tickle, Els Ton, Joost Van Schijndel, Ekwoge E. Abwe, Samuel Angedakin, Anthony Agbor, Emmanuel Ayuk Ayimisin, Emma Bailey, Mattia Bessone, Matthieu Bonnet, Gregory BrazollaValentine Ebua Buh, Rebecca Chancellor, Chloe Cipoletta, Heather Cohen, Katherine Corogenes, Charlotte Coupland, Bryan Curran, Tobias Deschner, Karsten Dierks, Paula Dieguez, Emmanuel Dilambaka, Orume Diotoh, Dervla Dowd, Andrew Dunn, Henk Eshuis, Rumen Fernandez, Yisa Ginath, John Hart, Daniela Hedwig, Martijn Ter Heegde, Thurston Cleveland Hicks, Inaoyom Imong, Kathryn J. Jeffery, Jessica Junker, Parag Kadam, Mohamed Kambi, Ivonne Kienast, Deo Kujirakwinja, Kevin Langergraber, Vincent Lapeyre, Juan Lapuente, Kevin Lee, Vera Leinert, Amelia Meier, Giovanna Maretti, Sergio Marrocoli, Tanyi Julius Mbi, Vianet Mihindou, Yasmin Moebius, David Morgan, Bethan Morgan, Felix Mulindahabi, Mizuki Murai, Protais Niyigabae, Emma Normand, Nicolas Ntare, Lucy Jayne Ormsby, Alex Piel, Jill Pruetz, Aaron Rundus, Crickette Sanz, Volker Sommer, Fiona Stewart, Nikki Tagg, Hilde Vanleeuwe, Virginie Vergnes, Jacob Willie, Roman M. Wittig, Klaus Zuberbuehler, Christophe Boesch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations

Abstract

The study of the archaeological remains of fossil hominins must rely on reconstructions to elucidate the behaviour that may have resulted in particular stone tools and their accumulation. Comparatively, stone tool use among living primates has illuminated behaviours that are also amenable to archaeological examination, permitting direct observations of the behaviour leading to artefacts and their assemblages to be incorporated. Here, we describe newly discovered stone tool-use behaviour and stone accumulation sites in wild chimpanzees reminiscent of human cairns. In addition to data from 17 mid- to long-term chimpanzee research sites, we sampled a further 34 Pan troglodytes communities. We found four populations in West Africa where chimpanzees habitually bang and throw rocks against trees, or toss them into tree cavities, resulting in conspicuous stone accumulations at these sites. This represents the first record of repeated observations of individual chimpanzees exhibiting stone tool use for a purpose other than extractive foraging at what appear to be targeted trees. The ritualized behavioural display and collection of artefacts at particular locations observed in chimpanzee accumulative stone throwing may have implications for the inferences that can be drawn from archaeological stone assemblages and the origins of ritual sites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number22219
JournalScientific reports
Volume6
DOIs
StatePublished - 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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