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Rich circumstantial evidence suggests that the extensive behavioural diversity recorded in wild great apes reflects a complexity of cultural variation unmatched by species other than our own. However, the capacity for cultural transmission assumed by this interpretation has remained difficult to test rigorously in the field, where the scope for controlled(More)
This study explored whether the tendency of chimpanzees and children to use emulation or imitation to solve a tool-using task was a response to the availability of causal information. Young wild-born chimpanzees from an African sanctuary and 3- to 4-year-old children observed a human demonstrator use a tool to retrieve a reward from a puzzle-box. The(More)
The study of human and primate altruism faces an evolutionary anomaly: There is ample evidence for altruistic preferences in our own species and growing evidence in monkeys, but one of our closest relatives, the chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes), is viewed as a reluctant altruist, acting only in response to pressure and solicitation. Although chimpanzee(More)
Wild chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) have a rich cultural repertoire--traditions common in some communities are not present in others. The majority of reports describe functional, material traditions, such as tool use. Arbitrary conventions have received far less attention. In the same way that observations of material culture in wild apes led to experiments(More)
In the wake of telling critiques of the foundations on which earlier conclusions were based, the last 15 years have witnessed a renaissance in the study of social learning in apes. As a result, we are able to review 31 experimental studies from this period in which social learning in chimpanzees, gorillas, and orangutans has been investigated. The principal(More)
Humans follow the example of prestigious, high-status individuals much more readily than that of others, such as when we copy the behavior of village elders, community leaders, or celebrities. This tendency has been declared uniquely human, yet remains untested in other species. Experimental studies of animal learning have typically focused on the learning(More)
Field reports provide increasing evidence for local behavioral traditions among fish, birds, and mammals. These findings are significant for evolutionary biology because social learning affords faster adaptation than genetic change and has generated new (cultural) forms of evolution. Orangutan and chimpanzee field studies suggest that like humans, these(More)
Observational studies of wild chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) have revealed population-specific differences in behavior, thought to represent cultural variation. Field studies have also reported behaviors indicative of cultural learning, such as close observation of adult skills by infants, and the use of similar foraging techniques within a population over(More)
Following the first long-term field studies of chimpanzees in the 1960s, researchers began to suspect that chimpanzees from different African populations varied in their behavior, and that some of these variations were transmitted through social learning, thus suggesting culture. Additional reports of chimpanzee culture have since accumulated, which involve(More)
A trap-tube task was used to determine whether chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) and children (Homo sapiens) who observed a model's errors and successes could master the task in fewer trials than those who saw only successes. Two- to 7-year-old chimpanzees and 3- to 4-year-old children did not benefit from observing errors and found the task difficult. Two of(More)