ASU In the News

ASU anthropologist questions complex social structure in gorillas


A controversial new study based on observation in the wild proposes that gorillas have hierarchical social structures and form something like friendships. If so, it implies that social complexity — a human trademark — is not a recent evolutionary trait, but goes back far in the human ancestral lineage.

Professor Kim Hill, an evolutionary anthropologist in the School of Human Evolution and Social Change, commented on the study for Science magazine. He argued that human societies are far more complex than gorilla groups, and thus that this trait is likely unrelated to that observed in gorillas. photo of gorilla Download Full Image

“(The) extreme social brain hypothesis doesn’t claim other primates don’t form hierarchically increasing groupings. … It focuses on the size of the largest human groupings,” he said.

Read the full article to learn more.

Article Source: Science magazine
Mikala Kass

Editorial Communications Coordinator, School of Human Evolution and Social Change

480-965-0610