The Gombe skeletal collection is the largest assemblage of wild chimpanzee skeletons with known life histories. As such, it provides an unprecedented opportunity to explore the relationship between behavior and the skeleton. I examined skeletal markers of health and stress, and their relationship to age, sex, and dominance rank. Age was correlated with arthropathy incidence and pathology incidence, but the inclusion of chimpanzee infanticide victims resulted in a more complex relationship between age and trauma incidence. Sex was not correlated with trauma or pathology incidence, but the distribution of traumata differed between males and females. Neither age nor sex correlated with enamel hypoplasia severity. Dominance rank did not correlate with any of the skeletal markers of health or stress, but change in rank was a significant predictor in some cases. These results should be treated with caution because the number of chimpanzees whose ranked changed is very small. It may be possible to better assess the effects of change in rank on rates of skeletal trauma and pathology in the future.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. August 2010. Major: Anthropology. Advisor: Martha Tappen. 1 computer file (PDF); xiv, 254 pages.
Kirchhoff, Claire Ann.
From birth to bones: skeletal evidence for health, disease, and injury in the Gombe chimpanzees..
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