Ethogram and ethnography of Mahale chimpanzees

Toshisada Nishida*, Takayoshi Kano, Jane Goodall, William C. McGrew, Michio Nakamura

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

187 Citations (Scopus)


This paper aims to compile an exhaustive list of the behavioral patterns exhibited by the chimpanzees of the Mahale Mountains National Park, Tanzania. The compilation is based on the glossary compiled by Goodall (1989), but a substantial numbers of new terms have been added. Thus, we list 316 simple anatomical terms, 81 complex anatomical terms, 37 simple functional terms, and 81 complex functional terms, in addition to 116 synonyms. The behavioral patterns are divided into eight categories on the basis of degree of universality: (1) commonly seen in both Homo and two species of Pan, (1?) commonly seen in Homo and only one species of Pan, (2) patterns common to the genus Pan but not to Homo, (3) patterns common to the chimpanzee Pan troglodytes but not the bonobo Pan paniscus, (4) patterns common to eastern (P.t. schweinfurthii) and central (P.t. troglodytes) but not western (P.t. verus) chimpanzees, (5) patterns unique to the eastern chimpanzees, P.t. schweinfurthii, (6) patterns unique to the population of Mahale, (7) patterns unique to many individuals (at least most members of an age/sex class) of M group chimpanzees, (8) patterns limited to a single (idiosyncrasy) or a few individuals of M group. It is most likely that the behavior patterns of the last common ancestor of Homo and Pan are found in Categories 1 and 1? and less likely in Categories 2 and 3. It is possible that behavior patterns belonging to Categories 5, 6 or 7 are cultures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-188
Number of pages48
JournalAnthropological Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jul 1999


  • Behavior
  • Chimpanzee
  • Culture
  • Ethogram
  • Mahale Mountains


Dive into the research topics of 'Ethogram and ethnography of Mahale chimpanzees'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this