publication . Article . 2020

Teaching varies with task complexity in wild chimpanzees

Stephanie Musgrave; Elizabeth V. Lonsdorf; David Morgan; Madison Prestipino; Laura M. Bernstein-Kurtycz; Roger Mundry; Crickette M. Sanz;
Open Access
  • Published: 14 Jan 2020 Journal: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, volume 117, pages 969-976 (issn: 0027-8424, eissn: 1091-6490, Copyright policy)
  • Publisher: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Abstract
Significance Understanding social influences on how apes acquire tool behaviors can help us model the evolution of culture and technology in humans. Humans scaffold novice tool skills with diverse strategies, including the transfer of tools between individuals. Chimpanzees transfer tools, and this behavior meets criteria for teaching. However, it is unclear how task complexity relates to this form of helping. Here, we find differences between 2 wild chimpanzee populations in rate, probability, and types of tool transfer during termite gathering. Chimpanzees showed greater helping in the population where termite gathering is a more complex tool task. In wild chim...
Subjects
free text keywords: Multidisciplinary, PNAS Plus, Biological Sciences, Anthropology, tool use, cumulative culture, social learning, chimpanzee, prosociality, Social learning, Transformative learning, Tanzania, biology.organism_classification, biology, Population, education.field_of_study, education, Cultural transmission in animals, Possession (law), Human evolution, Knowledge management, business.industry, business, Psychology, Social influence
87 references, page 1 of 6

1 Boyd R., Richerson P. J., Culture and the Evolutionary Process (University of Chicago, 198 5).

2 Dean L. G., Kendal R. L., Schapiro S. J., Thierry B., Laland K. N., Identification of the social and cognitive processes underlying human cumulative culture. Science 335, 1114–1118 (2012).22383851 [OpenAIRE] [PubMed]

3 Laland K., Galef B. G., The Question of Animal Culture (Harvard University Press, 2009).

4 Nishida T., “Local traditions and cultural transmission” in Primate Societies, Smuts B., Cheney D., Seyfarth R., Wrangham R., Struhsaker T., Eds. (University of Chicago Press, 1987), pp. 462–474.

5 Tennie C., Call J., Tomasello M., Ratcheting up the ratchet: On the evolution of cumulative culture. Philos. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. B Biol. Sci.364, 2405–2415 (2009).19620111 [OpenAIRE] [PubMed]

6 McGrew W., Chimpanzee Material Culture: Implications for Human Evolution (Cambridge University Press, 1992).

7 Whiten A., Cultures in chimpanzees. Nature 399, 682–685 (1999).10385119 [OpenAIRE] [PubMed]

8 Sanz C. M., Morgan D. B., Chimpanzee tool technology in the Goualougo Triangle, Republic of Congo. J. Hum. Evol.52, 420–433 (2007).17194468 [PubMed]

9 Whiten A., van de Waal E., The pervasive role of social learning in primate lifetime development. Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol.72, 80 (2018).29755181 [OpenAIRE] [PubMed]

10 Fragaszy D. M., The fourth dimension of tool use: Temporally enduring artefacts aid primates learning to use tools. Philos. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. B Biol. Sci.368, 20120410 (2013).24101621 [OpenAIRE] [PubMed]

11 Matsuzawa T., “Emergence of culture in wild chimpanzees: Education by master- apprenticeship” in Primate Origins of Human Cognition and Behavior, Matsuzawa T., Ed. (Springer, 2001), pp. 557–574.

12 Lonsdorf E., Sex differences in the development of termite-fishing skills in the wild chimpanzees, Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii, of Gombe National Park, Tanzania. Anim. Behav.70, 673–683 (2005). [OpenAIRE]

13 Humle T., Snowdon C. T., Matsuzawa T., Social influences on ant-dipping acquisition in the wild chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus) of Bossou, Guinea, West Africa. Anim. Cogn.12 (suppl. 1), S37–S48 (2009).19685087 [OpenAIRE] [PubMed]

14 Estienne V., Cohen H., Wittig R. M., Boesch C., Maternal influence on the development of nut-cracking skills in the chimpanzees of the Taï forest, Côte d’Ivoire (Pan troglodytes verus). Am. J. Primatol.81, e23022 (2019).31209909 [PubMed]

15 Boesch C., Teaching among wild chimpanzees. Anim. Behav.41, 530–532 (1991).

87 references, page 1 of 6
Abstract
Significance Understanding social influences on how apes acquire tool behaviors can help us model the evolution of culture and technology in humans. Humans scaffold novice tool skills with diverse strategies, including the transfer of tools between individuals. Chimpanzees transfer tools, and this behavior meets criteria for teaching. However, it is unclear how task complexity relates to this form of helping. Here, we find differences between 2 wild chimpanzee populations in rate, probability, and types of tool transfer during termite gathering. Chimpanzees showed greater helping in the population where termite gathering is a more complex tool task. In wild chim...
Subjects
free text keywords: Multidisciplinary, PNAS Plus, Biological Sciences, Anthropology, tool use, cumulative culture, social learning, chimpanzee, prosociality, Social learning, Transformative learning, Tanzania, biology.organism_classification, biology, Population, education.field_of_study, education, Cultural transmission in animals, Possession (law), Human evolution, Knowledge management, business.industry, business, Psychology, Social influence
87 references, page 1 of 6

1 Boyd R., Richerson P. J., Culture and the Evolutionary Process (University of Chicago, 198 5).

2 Dean L. G., Kendal R. L., Schapiro S. J., Thierry B., Laland K. N., Identification of the social and cognitive processes underlying human cumulative culture. Science 335, 1114–1118 (2012).22383851 [OpenAIRE] [PubMed]

3 Laland K., Galef B. G., The Question of Animal Culture (Harvard University Press, 2009).

4 Nishida T., “Local traditions and cultural transmission” in Primate Societies, Smuts B., Cheney D., Seyfarth R., Wrangham R., Struhsaker T., Eds. (University of Chicago Press, 1987), pp. 462–474.

5 Tennie C., Call J., Tomasello M., Ratcheting up the ratchet: On the evolution of cumulative culture. Philos. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. B Biol. Sci.364, 2405–2415 (2009).19620111 [OpenAIRE] [PubMed]

6 McGrew W., Chimpanzee Material Culture: Implications for Human Evolution (Cambridge University Press, 1992).

7 Whiten A., Cultures in chimpanzees. Nature 399, 682–685 (1999).10385119 [OpenAIRE] [PubMed]

8 Sanz C. M., Morgan D. B., Chimpanzee tool technology in the Goualougo Triangle, Republic of Congo. J. Hum. Evol.52, 420–433 (2007).17194468 [PubMed]

9 Whiten A., van de Waal E., The pervasive role of social learning in primate lifetime development. Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol.72, 80 (2018).29755181 [OpenAIRE] [PubMed]

10 Fragaszy D. M., The fourth dimension of tool use: Temporally enduring artefacts aid primates learning to use tools. Philos. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. B Biol. Sci.368, 20120410 (2013).24101621 [OpenAIRE] [PubMed]

11 Matsuzawa T., “Emergence of culture in wild chimpanzees: Education by master- apprenticeship” in Primate Origins of Human Cognition and Behavior, Matsuzawa T., Ed. (Springer, 2001), pp. 557–574.

12 Lonsdorf E., Sex differences in the development of termite-fishing skills in the wild chimpanzees, Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii, of Gombe National Park, Tanzania. Anim. Behav.70, 673–683 (2005). [OpenAIRE]

13 Humle T., Snowdon C. T., Matsuzawa T., Social influences on ant-dipping acquisition in the wild chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus) of Bossou, Guinea, West Africa. Anim. Cogn.12 (suppl. 1), S37–S48 (2009).19685087 [OpenAIRE] [PubMed]

14 Estienne V., Cohen H., Wittig R. M., Boesch C., Maternal influence on the development of nut-cracking skills in the chimpanzees of the Taï forest, Côte d’Ivoire (Pan troglodytes verus). Am. J. Primatol.81, e23022 (2019).31209909 [PubMed]

15 Boesch C., Teaching among wild chimpanzees. Anim. Behav.41, 530–532 (1991).

87 references, page 1 of 6
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