Advertisement

Primates

, Volume 8, Issue 4, pp 355–381 | Cite as

The social unit of chimpanzees

  • Junichiro Itani
  • Akira Suzuki
Article

Abstract

It has been said that there is no stable and permanent social unit in a society of chimpanzees. From observations at Filabanga in Western Tanzania and some other observed cases, we concluded that a large-sized group consisting of 30–50 animals is a social unit common to chimpanzees, and pointed out that chimpanzees freely repeat grouping and dispersion within a large-sized group, and such changeability in grouping is the most characteristic nature of chimpanzee society. The size, composition, and various other characteristics of the large-sized group are discussed and compared with the group of Japanese monkey and gorilla. A large-sized group of chimpanzees is not a group basically consisting of a one-male group like a group of gorilla, but usually contains more than five adult males and more than ten adult females as its members, and when they gather to form a larger group, young adult males rarely join it. In a largesized group there is no stable social unit lower than the group itself. It may be considered that two or three large-sized groups concentrate in an area and form a community, but this problem and inter-large-sized group relations are important subjects to be solved in the future. We related these various characteristics of the social organization of chimpanzees to the developed behavior displayed by the chimpanzees, especially those living in the savanna woodland, and discussed one important stage in the evolution of society in non-human primates.

Keywords

Social Organization Adult Male Adult Female Animal Ecology Group Relation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Azuma, S. & A. Toyoshima, 1965. Chimpanzees in Kabogo Point Area, Tanganyika. In:Monkeys and Apes,S. Kawamura & J. Itani (eds.) pp. 127–183.Google Scholar
  2. Beatty, E.H., 1951. A note on the behavior of the chimpanzee.J. Mammal., 32(1): 118.Google Scholar
  3. Goodall, J., 1963. My life among wild chimpanzees.National Geogr. Magaz., 124(2): 272–308.Google Scholar
  4. ——, 1965a. Chimpanzees of the Gombe Stream Reserve. In:Primate Behavior,I. DeVore (ed.) Holt, Rinehart & Winston, New York, pp. 425–473.Google Scholar
  5. ——, 1965b. New discoveries among African chimpanzees.National Geogr. Magaz., 128(6): 802–831.Google Scholar
  6. Imanishi, K., 1961. The origin of human family—A primatological approach.Jap. J. Ethnol., 25: 119–130.Google Scholar
  7. Itani, J., 1964.Animals of Africa. Kawade-shobo, Tokyo.Google Scholar
  8. ——, 1965. Savanna chimpanzees.Kagaku Asahi, 25(1): 57–62.Google Scholar
  9. ——, 1966. Social organization of chimpanzees.Shizen, 21(8): 17–30.Google Scholar
  10. ——, 1967a. An artificial feeding of wild chimpanzees and its social organization.Kagaku Asahi, 27(2): 79–85.Google Scholar
  11. ——, 1967b. From the societies of non-human primates to human society.Kagaku, 37(4): 170–174.Google Scholar
  12. Izawa, K. &J. Itani, 1966. Chimpanzees in Kasakati Basin, Tanganyika, (I)—Ecological study in rainy season 1963–1964.Kyoto Univ. Afr. Studies, 1: 73–156.Google Scholar
  13. Kawabe, M., 1966. One observed case of hunting behavior among wild chimpanzees living in the savanna woodland of Western Tanzania.Primates, 7(3): 393–396.Google Scholar
  14. Kawai, M. &H. Mizuhara, 1959. An ecological study on the wild mountain gorilla (Gorilla gorilla beringei).Primates, 2(1): 1–42.Google Scholar
  15. Kortlandt, A., 1962. Chimpanzees in the wild.Sc. Am., 20: 349–367.Google Scholar
  16. ——, 1963. Protohominid behavior in primates (Preliminary communication).Symp. Zool. Soc. Lond., 10: 61–88.Google Scholar
  17. Merfield, F.G. &H. Miller, 1956.Gorilla Hunter. Farrar, Straus, New York.Google Scholar
  18. Morgan, L.H., 1877.Ancient Society. Google Scholar
  19. Nishida, T., 1967. The society of wild chimpanzees.Shizen, 22(8): 31–41.Google Scholar
  20. Philipps, T., 1950. Letter concerning: Man's relation to the apes.Man, 272: 168.Google Scholar
  21. Pitman, C.R.S., 1931.A Game Warden among His Charges. London.Google Scholar
  22. Reynolds, V., 1963. An outline of the behavior and social organization of forest living chimpanzees.Folia. Primat., 1(2): 95–102.Google Scholar
  23. ——, 1966. Open groups in hominid evolution.Man (N.S.), 1: 441–452.Google Scholar
  24. ——, 1965. Chimpanzees of the Budongo Forest. In:Primate Behavior,I. DeVore (ed.) Holt, Rinehart & Winston, New York, pp. 368–424.Google Scholar
  25. Schaller, G.B., 1963.The Mountain Gorilla—Ecology and Behavior. Univ. of Chicago Press, Chicago.Google Scholar
  26. Sugiyama, Y., 1967. Forest-living chimpanzees.Shizen, 22(8): 18–29.Google Scholar
  27. Suzuki, A., 1966. On the insect-eating habits among wild chimpanzees living in the savanna woodland of Western Tanzania.Primates, 7(4): 481–487.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Japan Monkey Centre 1967

Authors and Affiliations

  • Junichiro Itani
    • 1
  • Akira Suzuki
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Physical AnthropologyKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan

Personalised recommendations