Chimp see, chimp learn: First evidence for chimps improving tool use techniques by watching others
Chimps can learn more efficient ways to use a tool by watching what others do, according to research published January 30 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Shinya Yamamoto and colleagues from Kyoto University and Kent University, UK. Their study presents the first experimental evidence that chimps, like humans, can watch and learn a group member's invention of a better technique. Chimps in the study were provided juice-boxes with a small hole and straws to drink with. One group of chimps used the straws like dipsticks, dipping and removing them to suck on the end, while the other group learned to suck through the straw directly. Learning both techniques required the same cognitive and motor skills, but chimps that drank through the straw got considerably more juice in a shorter amount of time. When the first group of chimps watched either a human or a chimp demonstrate the more efficient 'straw-sucking' technique, all of them switched to using this instead.
The study concludes, "When chimpanzees are dissatisfied with their own technique, they may socially learn an improved technique by closely observing a proficient demonstrator."
According to the authors, their results provide insights into the cognitive basis for the evolution of culture in chimpanzees, and suggest ways that culture could evolve in non-human animals.
Source: Public Library of Science
- Chimpanzees learn a more efficient tool technique by watching othersfrom Science DailyThu, 31 Jan 2013, 10:00:35 EST
- Chimp see, chimp learn: First evidence for chimps improving tool use techniques by watching othersfrom Science DailyWed, 30 Jan 2013, 22:00:39 EST
- Chimp See, Chimp Do - Learning Tool Use by Watching Others | Videofrom Live ScienceWed, 30 Jan 2013, 17:31:39 EST
- Chimp see, chimp learn: First evidence for chimps improving tool use techniques by watching others (w/ video)from PhysorgWed, 30 Jan 2013, 17:30:47 EST
Latest Science NewsletterGet the latest and most popular science news articles of the week in your Inbox! It's free!
Check out our next project, Biology.Net
From other science news sites
Popular science news articles
- Shrinking dinosaurs evolved into flying birds
- UF study advances 'DNA revolution,' tells butterflies' evolutionary history
- Fermi satellite detects gamma-rays from exploding novae
- A mathematical theory proposed by Alan Turing in 1952 can explain the formation of fingers
- Companion planets can increase old worlds' chance at life
- Smithsonian scientist and collaborators revise timeline of human origins
- Meet the gomphothere: UA archaeologist involved in discovery of bones of elephant ancestor
- New view of Rainier's volcanic plumbing
- Domestication syndrome: White patches, baby faces and tameness
- Extinct human cousin gave Tibetans advantage at high elevation