The question of animal culture


Journal Article

In this paper I consider whether traditional behaviors of animals, like traditions of humans, are transmitted by imitation learning. Review of the literature on problem solving by captive primates, and detailed consideration of two widely cited instances of purported learning by imitation and of culture in free-living primates (sweet-potato washing by Japanese macaques and termite fishing by chimpanzees), suggests that nonhuman primates do not learn to solve problems by imitation. It may, therefore, be misleading to treat animal traditions and human culture as homologous (rather than analogous) and to refer to animal traditions as cultural. © 1992 Walter de Gruyter, Inc.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Galef, BG

Published Date

  • June 1, 1992

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 3 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 157 - 178

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1936-4776

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1045-6767

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1007/BF02692251

Citation Source

  • Scopus