A century of research on chimpanzees, both in their natural habitat and in captivity, has brought these apes socially, emotionally and mentally much closer to us. Parallels and homologues between chimpanzee and human behaviour range from tool-technology and cultural learning to power politics and intercommunity warfare. Few behavioural domains have remained untouched by this increased knowledge, which has dramatically challenged the way we view ourselves. The sequencing of the chimpanzee genome will no doubt bring more surprises and insights. Humans do occupy a special place among the primates, but this place increasingly has to be defined against a backdrop of substantial similarity.
Access optionsAccess options
Subscribe to Journal
Get full journal access for 1 year
only $3.90 per issue
All prices are NET prices.
VAT will be added later in the checkout.
Rent or Buy article
Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.
All prices are NET prices.
Oakley, K. Man the Tool-Maker (Univ. of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1957)
Köhler, W. Mentality of Apes (Routledge & Kegan, London, 1925)
Yerkes, R. M. Chimpanzees: A Laboratory Colony (Yale Univ. Press, New Haven, 1943)
Ladygina-Kohts, N. N. in Infant Chimpanzee and Human Child: A Classic 1935 Comparative Study of Ape Emotions and Intelligence (ed. de Waal, F. B. M.) (Oxford Univ. Press, Oxford, 2001)
Nissen, H. A field study of the chimpanzee. Comp. Psychol. Monogr. 8, 1–122 (1931)
Goodall, J. in Primate Behavior: Field Studies of Monkeys and Apes (ed. DeVore, I.) 425–473 (Holt, Rinehart & Winston, New York, 1965)
Nishida, T. The social group of wild chimpanzees in the Mahali Mountains. Primates 9, 167–224 (1968)
Goodall, J. et al. in The Great Apes (eds Hamburg, D. A. & McCown, E. R.) 13–53 (Benjamin/Cummings, Menlo Park, California, 1979)
Gallup, G. G. Jr . Chimpanzees: Self-recognition. Science 167, 86–87 (1970)
Menzel, E. W. in Behavior of Non-human Primates Vol. 5 (eds Schrier, A. M. & Stollnitz, F.) 83–153 (Academic, New York, 1974)
Hauser, M. Our chimpanzee mind. Nature doi:10.10.38/nature03917 (this issue)
de Waal, F. B. M. Chimpanzee Politics: Power and Sex Among Apes (Jonathan Cape, London, 1982)
Mitani, J. C., Watts, D. P. & Muller, M. Recent developments in the study of wild chimpanzee behaviour. Evol. Anthropol. 11, 9–25 (2002)
Whiten, A. The second inheritance system of chimpanzees and humans. Nature doi:10.1038/nature04023 (this issue)
Goodall, J. The Chimpanzees of Gombe (Harvard Univ. Press, Cambridge, 1986)
Wilson, M. L. & Wrangham, R. W. Intergroup relations in chimpanzees. Annu. Rev. Anthropol. 32, 363–392 (2003)
de Waal, F. B. M. The brutal elimination of a rival among captive male chimpanzees. Ethol. Sociobiol. 7, 237–251 (1986)
Watts, D. P. Intracommunity coalitionary killing of an adult male chimpanzee at Ngogo, Kibale National Park, Uganda. Int. J. Primatol. 25, 507–521 (2004)
de Waal, F. B. M. & van Roosmalen, A. Reconciliation and consolation among chimpanzees. Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol. 5, 55–66 (1979)
Wittig, R. M. & Boesch, C. “Decision-making” in conflicts of wild chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes): An extension of the Relational Model. Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol. 54, 491–504 (2003)
Aureli, F. & de Waal, F. B. M. Natural Conflict Resolution (Univ. California Press, Berkeley, 2000)
Hrdy, S. B. Infanticide among animals: A review, classification, and examination of the implications for the reproductive strategies of females. Ethol. Sociobiol. 1, 13–40 (1979)
Hiraiwa-Hasegawa, M. & Hasegawa, T. in Infanticide and Parental Care (eds Parmigiani, S. & vom Saal, F. S.) 137–154 (Harwood Academy, London, 1994)
Arcadi, A. & Wrangham, R. Infanticide in chimpanzees: Review of cases and a new within-group observation from the Kanyawara study group in Kibale National Park. Primates 40, 337–351 (1999)
Pusey, A. E., Williams, J. & Goodall, J. The influence of dominance rank on the reproductive success of female chimpanzees. Science 277, 828–831 (1997)
de Waal, F. B. M. Tension regulation and nonreproductive functions of sex among captive bonobos. Nat. Geogr. Res. 3, 318–335 (1987)
Harcourt, A. H., Harvey, P. H., Larson, S. G. & Short, R. V. Testis weight, body weight and breeding system in primates. Nature 293, 55–57 (1981)
Reno, P. L., Meindl, R. S., McCollum, M. A. & Lovejoy, C. O. Sexual dimporphism in Australopithecus afarensis was similar to that of modern humans. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 100, 9404–9409 (2003)
Constable, J., Ashley, M., Goodall, J. & Pusey, A. Noninvasive paternity assignment in Gombe chimpanzees. Mol. Ecol. 10, 1279–1300 (2001)
Vigilant, L., Hofreiter, M., Siedel, H. & Boesch, C. Paternity and relatedness in wild chimpanzee communities. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 98, 12890–12895 (2001)
Nishida, T. Alpha status and agonistic alliance in wild chimpanzees. Primates 24, 318–336 (1983)
de Waal, F. B. M. The chimpanzee's service economy: Food for grooming. Evol. Hum. Behav. 18, 375–386 (1997)
de Waal, F. B. M. & Luttrell, L. M. Mechanisms of social reciprocity in three primate species: Symmetrical relationship characteristics or cognition? Ethol. Sociobiol. 9, 101–118 (1988)
Stanford, C. B. Chimpanzee and Red Colubus (Harvard Univ. Press, Cambridge, 1998)
Boesch, C. in Animal Social Complexity (eds de Waal, F. B. M. & Tyack, P. L.) 93–110 (Harvard Univ. Press, Cambridge, 2003)
Nishida, T., Hasegawa, T., Hayaki, H., Takahata, Y., Uehara, S., et al. in Topics in Primatology Vol. 1: Human Origins (ed. Nishida, T.) 159–174 (Univ. Tokyo Press, Tokyo, 1992)
Reprints and permissions information is available at npg.nature.com/reprintsandpermissions. The author declares no competing financial interests.
About this article
American Journal of Physical Anthropology (2018)
Evolutionary Psychology (2016)
Understanding and helping people with hallucinations based on the theory of negative legacy emotions.
The Humanistic Psychologist (2015)
Human Molecular Genetics (2015)
A trade-off between antipredatory behavior and pairing competition produced by male-male tandem running in threeReticulitermesspecies
Insect Science (2015)