The Leakey Foundation presents What Makes Us Human? Lessons from the Study of Wild Chimpanzees
John Mitani’s 23-year study of an unusually large community of chimpanzees at Ngogo in Kibale National Park, Uganda, continues to challenge our notions of what makes us human. In this talk, Mitani will review findings that reveal some interesting parallels between humans and chimpanzees with respect to friendships, longevity, and cooperation.
Humans form long-lasting friendships, live a very long time, and are an unusually cooperative species. Studies of the Ngogo chimpanzees indicate that the gap between them and us in these regards may be smaller than previously thought. These findings furnish new insights into chimpanzee behavior and are particularly relevant as we continue to struggle to conserve the dwindling populations of these animals.