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Keywords:

  • chimpanzee;
  • tool use;
  • developmental stages;
  • multivariate analysis

Abstract: Chimpanzees have a large repertoire of tool-use behaviors. This study reports on the variety and the extent of tool use exhibited by the chimpanzees of the Arnhem Zoo community in The Netherlands, living in an enriched captive setting since 1971. The use of tools by 29 chimpanzees aged from 0 to 37 years was observed. We identified 13 types of tool use comparable to those found in the wild. Some of these types of tool use seem to be specific to this community, and can be explained by the ecological characteristics of this captive setting. Chimpanzees started to use tools from the age of 2 years. Young chimpanzees, from 5 to 9 years old, showed a greater repertoire of tool use than infants and adults. All types of tool use in the community have appeared by the age of 10, the age of puberty for chimpanzees. Multivariate analysis was applied for the 29 individuals by 13 types of tool use in a one-zero matrix. The results show two major categories of tool use, one in a practical or substantial context and the other in a nonpractical or play context. The subjects clustered into groups reflecting developmental stages, although there are great individual differences. In conclusion, this captive community provides a unique opportunity to clarify the details of tool use by chimpanzees.