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Jokro: The death of an infant chimpanzee

This is the true story of an infant chimpanzee at Bossou, Guinea, West Africa, who died at the age of 2 and a half years. A researcher happened to capture her life on videotape for 16 days before her death and 27 days thereafter. The mother was named Jire, an approximately 35-year-old female. The infant’s name was Jokro...

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  The Chimpanzees of Bossou and Nimba
Matsuzawa, Tetsuro; Humle, Tatyana; Sugiyama, Yukimaru (Eds.) 2011 from Springer

The chimpanzees of Bossou in Guinea, West Africa, form a unique community which displays an exceptional array of tool use behaviors and behavioral adaptations to coexistence with humans. This community of Pan troglodytes verus has contributed more than three decades of data to the field of cultural primatology, especially chimpanzees’ flexible use of stones to crack open nuts and of perishable tools during foraging activities. The book highlights the special contribution of the long-term research at Bossou and more recent studies in surrounding areas, particularly in the Nimba Mountains and the forest of Diécké, to our understanding of wild chimpanzees’ tool use, cognitive development, lithic technology and culture. This compilation of research principally strives to uncover the complexity of the mind and behavioral flexibility of our closest living relatives. This work also reveals the necessity for ongoing efforts to conserve chimpanzees in the region. Chimpanzees have shed more light on our evolutionary origins than any other extant species in the world, yet their numbers in the wild are rapidly declining. In that sense, the Bossou chimpanzees and their neighbors clearly embody an invaluable cultural heritage for humanity as a whole.

Original articles (peer-reviewed)

Matsuzawa T (1997) The death of an infant chimpanzee at Bossou, Guinea Pan Africa News 4(1): 4-6

Biro D, Humle T, Koops K, Sousa C, Hayashi M, Matsuzawa T (2010) Chimpanzee mothers at Bossou, Guinea carry the mummified remains of their dead infants. Current Biology Volume 20, Issue 8, R351-R352