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Thursday, 20th November 2008
In General Japan News, Events In Japan,

Japanese professor scoops prestigious award

A Japanese professor has won a prestigious accolade rewarding his work on the social intelligence of chimpanzees.

Professor Toshisada Nishida won the 2008 Louis Leakey anthropological award after spending almost 50 years observing groups of chimpanzees at Tanzania National Park to examine how the animals related to each other, the Daily Yomiuri Online reports.

He first became interested in the topic after joining a research group at Kyoto University while he was a student and went to Tanzania, followed by his family, to further his research efforts.

Professor Nishida also became head of the Japan Monkey Centre in Inuyama, Aichi prefecture in 2004 to spread the findings of his research among the public.

"My findings on the high social intelligence of chimpanzees have been recognized. This is indeed a great honour," he said.

Louis Leakey was a famed Kenyan archaeologist who became involved in animal research in a bid to prove the Darwinian hypothesis that man first started to develop from primates in Africa.