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The limits of chimpanzee-human comparisons for understanding human cognition

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 June 2012

Simon M. Reader
Affiliation:
Department of Biology, McGill University, Montréal, Québec H3A 1B1, Canada. simon.reader@mcgill.cahttp://biology.mcgill.ca/faculty/reader/ Behavioural Biology, Department of Biology and Helmholtz Institute, Utrecht University, Utrecht 3508 TB, The Netherlands. stevenhrotic@yahoo.co.uk
Steven M. Hrotic
Affiliation:
Behavioural Biology, Department of Biology and Helmholtz Institute, Utrecht University, Utrecht 3508 TB, The Netherlands. stevenhrotic@yahoo.co.uk

Abstract

Evolutionary questions require specialized approaches, part of which are comparisons between close relatives. However, to understand the origins of human tool behavior, comparisons with solely chimpanzees are insufficient, lacking the power to identify derived traits. Moreover, tool use is unlikely a unitary phenomenon. Large-scale comparative analyses provide an alternative and suggest that tool use co-evolves with a suite of cognitive traits.

Type
Open Peer Commentary
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2012

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