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Journal Article

Tool use for corpse cleaning in chimpanzees

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Leeuwen_Tool_SciRep_2017.pdf
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Citation

van Leeuwen, E. J. C., Cronin, K. A., & Haun, D. B. M. (2017). Tool use for corpse cleaning in chimpanzees. Scientific Reports, 7: 44091. doi:10.1038/srep44091.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0006-56A8-C
Abstract
For the first time, chimpanzees have been observed using tools to clean the corpse of a deceased group member. A female chimpanzee sat down at the dead body of a young male, selected a firm stem of grass, and started to intently remove debris from his teeth. This report contributes novel behaviour to the chimpanzee’s ethogram, and highlights how crucial information for reconstructing the evolutionary origins of human mortuary practices may be missed by refraining from developing adequate observation techniques to capture non-human animals’ death responses.