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
- How female chimps call off the competitionTue, 17 Jun 2008, 20:21:32 EDT
- Chimps, like humans, focus on facesWed, 22 Jul 2009, 19:35:41 EDT
- Why can't chimps speak?Wed, 11 Nov 2009, 13:38:43 EST
- Neighboring chimp communities have their own nut-cracking stylesThu, 10 May 2012, 14:36:29 EDT
- Surgeon operates to rescue chimp with rare deformityMon, 19 May 2008, 11:22:21 EDT
- 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
- Outlook is grim for mammals and birds as human population grows
- Mars had oxygen-rich atmosphere 4,000 million years ago
- The contribution of particulate matter to forest decline
- Scientists find new source of versatility so 'floppy' proteins can get things done
- An environmentally friendly battery made from wood
- Even with defects, graphene is strongest material in the world
- Detection of the cosmic gamma ray horizon: Measures all the light in the universe since the Big Bang
- Genetic engineering alters mosquitoes' sense of smell
- Allosaurus fed more like a falcon than a crocodile, new study finds
- 'Popcorn' particle pathways promise better lithium-ion batteries