Of Apes and Tools: Insights into the evolution of technology

The link to the YouTube live stream is: https://youtu.be/3FpYbBvLWzA

Complex technology is a defining feature of modern humans. Our technological innovations have reshaped our planet and changed the impact of evolutionary forces upon our lives. Despite the enormous significance of human technology, the evolutionary origin of this complex use of tools is not well understood. Comparative research is crucial to determining the evolutionary forces which prompted differences in technological skill to emerge and diverge among humans and other species. In this talk, Kathelijne will discuss her research that investigates the drivers of tool use in our ape cousins. First, she will introduce you to research at her chimpanzee study site in the Nimba Mountains, Guinea. Findings from Nimba highlight a key role for the environment in explaining tool use by chimpanzees. Next, she will discuss her comparative work on the two species of apes most closely related to humans, the (tool-using) chimpanzee and the (non tool-using) bonobo. By comparing the material cultures of these two ape species she discovered that the intrinsic motivation to interact with objects is critical in explaining the species difference in tool use. Lastly, she will introduce you to ongoing research which investigates the drivers of tool use across all the African apes and humans.

YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCaDUFDdsWlY-aK9pV9W95cg/videos

As always, please feel free to share the link with anyone you think might be interested in this talk, and follow us on Facebook to keep up to date with our seminar schedule: https://www.facebook.com/PrimateConversations

The following seminars will be given at 4pm on Tuesdays (Weeks 1, 3-8) and at 2pm on Tuesday of Week 2 on this YouTube Channel. Convener: Dr S. Carvalho.

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