[Review of the book Chimpanzees of the Lakeshore: Natural history and culture at Mahale by Toshisada Nishida]
Cronin, K. A.
[Review of the book Chimpanzees of the Lakeshore: Natural history and culture at Mahale by Toshisada Nishida]. Animal Behaviour, 85
, 685-686. doi:10.1016/j.anbehav.2013.01.001.
First paragraph: Motivated by his quest to characterize the society of the last common ancestor of humans and other great apes, Toshisada Nishida set out as a graduate student to the Mahale Mountains on the eastern shore of Lake Tanganyika, Tanzania. This book is a story of his 45 years with the Mahale chimpanzees, or as he calls it, their ethnography. Beginning with his accounts of meeting the Tongwe people and the challenges of provisioning the chimpanzees for habituation, Nishida reveals how he slowly unravelled the unit group and community basis of chimpanzee social organization. The book begins and ends with a feeling of chronological order, starting with his arrival at Mahale and ending with an eye towards the future, with concrete recommendations for protecting wild chimpanzees. However, the bulk of the book is topically organized with chapters on feeding behaviour, growth and development, play and exploration, communication, life histories, sexual strategies, politics and culture.