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Wed Jun 10, 2020, 02:17 AM

Chimps have local culture differences when it comes to eating termites

28 May 2020
By Rowan Hooper



Chimps use twigs to fish for termites
Anup Shah/Nature Picture Library/Alamy

How many ways are there to get a termite to run up a stick? A surprising variety, it turns out. A new analysis of how chimpanzees perform this “termite fishing” has revealed that different groups of the animals have distinct dining cultures, similar to how chopstick use in humans differs across the world.

The idea that non-human animals can even have culture in the sense that humans have it – behaviours and social norms that vary by group – has been controversial. But this study firms up the idea of chimp ethnography, the study of chimp culture, as a viable subject.

Carel van Schaik at the University of Zurich, Switzerland, who wasn’t involved in the research, says the work confirmed beyond any doubt that the variation that has been found among chimpanzees is cultural. “This paper is an absolute milestone in ‘culture in nature’ research,” he says.

Christophe Boesch at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, and his colleagues chose to study termite fishing because it is a widespread behaviour, allowing them to make lots of observations in different communities.

Read more: https://www.newscientist.com/article/2244799-chimps-have-local-culture-differences-when-it-comes-to-eating-termites/#ixzz6OwNymloM

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Reply Chimps have local culture differences when it comes to eating termites (Original post)
Judi Lynn Jun 2020 OP
soothsayer Jun 2020 #1

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Wed Jun 10, 2020, 07:09 AM

1. Very interesting

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