Teaching in Wild Meerkats

@article{Thornton2006TeachingIW,
  title={Teaching in Wild Meerkats},
  author={Alex Thornton and Katherine McAuliffe},
  journal={Science},
  year={2006},
  volume={313},
  pages={227 - 229}
}
Despite the obvious benefits of directed mechanisms that facilitate the efficient transfer of skills, there is little critical evidence for teaching in nonhuman animals. Using observational and experimental data, we show that wild meerkats (Suricata suricatta) teach pups prey-handling skills by providing them with opportunities to interact with live prey. In response to changing pup begging calls, helpers alter their prey-provisioning methods as pups grow older, thus accelerating learning… 

Lessons from animal teaching.

Variation in contributions to teaching by meerkats

  • A. Thornton
  • Psychology
    Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
  • 2008
Variation in contributions to teaching in meerkats is examined, where older group members teach pups to handle difficult prey and younger helpers, which were still investing in growth, contributed less to teaching than older individuals.

Tool transfers are a form of teaching among chimpanzees

It is shown that wild chimpanzees in the Goualougo Triangle teach tool skills by providing learners with termite fishing probes, and that teaching in this population may relate to the complexity of these termite-gathering tasks.

Ospreys do not teach offspring how to kill prey at the nest

It is found that ospreys do not teach their young at the nest, indicating that teaching may be more likely to evolve in such species as cooperative breeders.

The cost of teaching embryos in superb fairy-wrens

In superb fairy-wrens, females teach their embryos by calling to them: embryos learn a vocal password, and hatchlings incorporate the learned vocal password into their begging calls to solicit parental feeding.

Evidence of teaching in atlantic spotted dolphins (Stenella frontalis) by mother dolphins foraging in the presence of their calves

Data based on the maternal foraging behavior of mother Atlantic spotted dolphins are suggestive of teaching as a social-learning mechanism in nonhuman animals.

Wild chimpanzees scaffold youngsters’ learning in a high-tech community

  • A. Whiten
  • Biology
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
  • 2019
Young chimpanzees’ social learning is more highly structured in the high-tech population, differing especially in the ways mothers offer costly support to the efforts of their offspring, which the authors class as an elementary form of teaching.

Mammalian Social Learning: Non-Primates

  • B. Galef
  • Biology
    Encyclopedia of Animal Behavior
  • 2019

An Observation of Apparent Teaching Behavior in the Pallid Bat, Antrozous pallidus

A female bat experienced with a hunting task modified her behavior in the presence of a naïve observing male, resulting in a cost of reduced food availability to the female when she was hungry, while directing the male to food resources and accelerating his learning of a foraging task.
...

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