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The Real Chimpanzee


  • 17 b/w illus.
  • Page extent: 196 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.47 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 599.885/1562
  • Dewey version: 22
  • LC Classification: QL737.P96 B595 2009
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Chimpanzees--Sexual behavior--Côte d'Ivoire--Parc national de Taï
    • Chimpanzees--Behavior--Côte d'Ivoire--Parc national de Taï
    • Pan troglodytes--behavior--Côte d'Ivoire--Parc National de Taï

Library of Congress Record


 (ISBN-13: 9780521110082)

The Real Chimpanzee encapsulates the fascinating behaviour of wild chimpanzees and discusses the differences observed in different populations across the species, and across the many levels of their social behaviour. It explains why sex competition and predation pressures in a forest chimpanzee population made the females of the group highly social and gave the males a high level of within-group solidarity, making them very xenophobic towards outsiders. Love is what makes war possible. Christophe Boesch brings back to the table the debate over ecological pressures and social organization, and the influence they have over issues such as the evolution of warfare, co-operation, altruism and the position of females. Written in an accessible style for a general audience as well as for undergraduate and graduate students, he presents insightful views to give readers the background information to understand the struggle for survival of our closest living relative, the chimpanzee, and through this to find some keys to the ever-so-intriguing question of what makes us human.

• Text is written to be clear and understandable, with as few statistics as possible, allowing readers of different disciplines and backgrounds to engage with the arguments • Presents new and unique observations on Taï chimpanzees in tropical rain forests, a habitat strongly neglected up to now, emphasizing the complexity of chimpanzee behaviour • Comparisons of the behaviour of different chimpanzee populations living in different habitats allows readers to understand behavioural variability in chimpanzees and how ecology affects it


1. Make love and war?; 2. Inconspicuous female superiority; 3. The tyranny of the testis; 4. Odyssey through our forest past; 5. Make war to get love; 6. The real chimpanzee; 7. When sex became destructive; 8. Postscript: Fedora's fate.


'… an entertaining and personal ethnography …' Primates

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