Contact

Prof. Dr. Christophe Boesch
Prof. Dr. Christophe Boesch
Phone:+49 341 3550-200/201Fax:+49 341 3550-119

Max-Planck-Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig

Website Christophe Boesch

Dr. Tobias Deschner
Dr. Tobias Deschner
Phone:+49 341 3550-207

Max-Planck-Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig

Website Tobias Deschner

Dr. Roman Wittig
Dr. Roman Wittig
Phone:+49 341 3550-204

Max-Planck-Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig

Website Roman Wittig

About the film

Disney is showing cinema audiences how chimpanzees live in the wild – a movie made possible by primate researchers in Leipzig

The Jungle Interpreter

Disney is showing cinema audiences how chimpanzees live in the wild – a movie made possible by primate researchers in Leipzig

[more]

Book Tip

In tales of adventure, research, and conservation, veteran field researchers and conservationists describe exciting discoveries made over the past few decades about chimpanzees, bonobos, and gorillas.

All the apes howl as one

In tales of adventure, research, and conservation, veteran field researchers and conservationists describe exciting discoveries made over the past few decades about chimpanzees, bonobos, and gorillas. [more]

Research

Header image 1421320073

Taï chimpanzees

For several decades now, the Max Planck scientists from Leipzig have been observing chimpanzees in Taï National Park. In the course of their work, they frequently come upon new and fascinating behavioural traits. Gradually, they are becoming familiar with how the apes live - for example, how they find their way in the dense jungle, make skilful use of tools, hunt together and trade in meat, and chase off leopards.

Topics:

  • Social life

    In a chimpanzee community, several adult males live together with females and their offspring. Such groups can have between 12 and 150 members. However, the animals do not stay together all day long but instead prowl around in smaller groups, called parties. [more]

  • Grooming

    Chimpanzees like to spend a lot of time grooming each other. And it’s not all about getting rid of dirt and annoying bugs. Sometimes lasting for hours, grooming is a delousing ritual which helps the primates to relax and performs an important social function. It is a way of upholding friendships, forging alliances and securing the support of group members. All of which serves to make mutual grooming an important strategy for retaining power. [more]

  • Adoption

    Among chimpanzees, it is not unusual for orphaned infants to be adopted by group members. Although this happens rarely, a powerful alpha male can also become a loving foster father. Foster parents teach the young chimps everything they need to survive in the jungle, so that they can reach adulthood even without a biological mother. [more]

  • Orientation

    The tropical rain forest in the Taï National Park in Côte d’Ivoire is a veritable jungle of brush, lianas and fallen trees. It is generally impossible to see further than 20 metres ahead. In this almost impenetrable environment, the chimpanzees must find their bearings, identify sources of food and drink, and mark out the boundaries of their territories. The search for food is particularly difficult as the trees, on which the chimpanzees feed, are widely dispersed. Moreover, their fruits ripen at different times of the year. [more]

  • Use of tools

    Chimpanzees are inventive and extremely clever. With the aid of carefully selected implements they are able to crack open the extremely hard Panda nuts, fish for combative ants and ransack hidden bee nests. In order to get to the sweet contents of the honeycombs, they even make use of multifunctional tools. [more]

  • Hunting behaviour

    The diet of chimpanzees is mainly vegetarian: fruit and leaves top the menu, followed by flowers, seeds, nuts and honey. Occasionally, however, chimpanzees also eat meat. [more]

  • Natural enemies

    In the Taï National Park in Côte d’Ivoire, death silently creeps up on the chimpanzees: with a sudden leap, the leopard ambushes its prey and kills it with a bite to the throat or chest. The attack is so unexpected that the victim has no time to flee. [more]

  • Agression

    Tensions are high: A small group of male chimpanzees sneak through the rainforest. Without making a sound they move through the dense undergrowth, one after the other, their fur bristled. They only stop once in a while – not to eat, but to sniff at leaves and twigs and to listen for any suspicious noises. [more]

Copyright: Sonja Metzger

 
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