Skeletal pathology in Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii in Kibale National Park, Uganda

Am J Phys Anthropol. 2008 Apr;135(4):389-403. doi: 10.1002/ajpa.20758.


The ecological pressures shaping chimpanzee anatomy and behavior are the subject of much discussion in primatology and paleoanthropology, yet empirical data on fundamental parameters including body size, morbidity, and mortality are rare for wild chimpanzees. Here, we present skeletal pathology and body size data for 20 (19 crania, 12 postcrania) chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii) from Kibale National Park, Uganda. We compare these data with other East African populations, especially Gombe National Park. Estimated body size for Kibale chimpanzees was similar to other East African populations and significantly larger than Gombe chimpanzees. The high rates of trauma and other skeletal pathology evident in the Kibale chimpanzee skeletons were similar to those in the Gombe skeletal sample. Much of the major skeletal trauma in the Kibale skeletons was attributable to falls, although other pathologies were noted as well, including apparent injuries from snares, degenerative arthritis, and minor congenital abnormalities.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Animals
  • Anthropometry
  • Body Size / physiology*
  • Bone and Bones / injuries
  • Bone and Bones / pathology*
  • Female
  • Male
  • Pan troglodytes / anatomy & histology*
  • Sex Factors
  • Uganda