Welfare of Apes in Captive Environments: Comments On, and By, a Specific Group of Apes

Accurately determining the proper captive environment for apes requires adequately assessing the psychological similarities between apes and humans. Scientists currently believe apes lack mental complexity (Millikan, 2006), raising questions concerning the evolution of human culture from ape-like societies (Tomasello, 1999) .A long-term cultural study with bonobos suggests less intellectual divergence from humans than currently postulated […]

A comparison of bonobo and chimpanzee tool use: evidence for a female bias in the Pan lineage

Chimpanzees, Pan troglodytes, are the most sophisticated tool-users among all nonhuman primates. From an evolutionary perspective, it is therefore puzzling that the tool use behaviour of their closest living primate relative, the bonobo, Pan paniscus, has been described as particularly poor. However, only a small number of bonobo groups have been studied in the wild […]

Experimental studies of traditions and underlying transmission processes in chimpanzees

Multiple regional differences in tool use have been identified among wild chimpanzees, Pan troglodytes, but the hypothesis that these represent traditions, transmitted through social learning, is difficult to substantiate without experimentation. To test chimpanzees’ capacity to sustain traditions, we seeded alternative tool use techniques in single individuals in different captive groups. One technique, [`]Lift’, spread […]

Trade-offs between social learning and individual innovativeness in common marmosets, Callithrix jacchus

Social learning and innovation are two different ways to acquire novel behaviours, and the form of the relationship between these two processes strongly affects cultural evolution. Whereas modelling results suggest a negative correlation between the two processes within a species, comparative data show, and the cultural intelligence hypothesis predicts, positive covariation across species. Thus, there […]

Detecting social learning using networks: a users guide

Abstract Controversy over claims of cultures in nonhuman primates and other animals has led to a call for quantitative methods that are able to infer social learning from freely interacting groups of animals. Network-based diffusion analysis (NBDA) is such a method that infers social transmission of a behavioral trait when the pattern of acquisition follows […]

Nonenculturated Orangutans’ (Pongo pygmaeus) Use of Experimenter-Given Manual and Facial Cues in an Object-Choice Task

Several experiments have been performed, to examine whether nonhuman primates are able to make use of experimenter-given manual and facial (visual) cues to direct their attention to a baited object. Contrary to the performance of prosimians and monkeys, great apes repeatedly have shown task efficiency in experiments such as these. However, many great ape subjects […]

Imitative learning by captive western lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) in a simulated food-processing task

Although field studies have suggested the existence of cultural transmission of foraging techniques in primates, identification of transmission mechanisms has remained elusive. To test experimentally for evidence of imitation in the current study, the authors exposed gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) to an artificial fruit foraging task designed by A. Whiten and D. M. Custance (1996). […]

Students’ attitudes to animal welfare and rights in Europe and Asia

A survey of attitudes towards the welfare and rights of animals was conducted in universities in 11 European and Asian countries, to improve understanding of cultural differences that might impact on trade and international relations. Collaborators’ universities were recruited in each country to assist in the design, translation and administration of the survey via the […]

Into the brains of whales

Whilst studies on cetaceans have focused on a few populations of just a few species, various complex behaviours and social structures that support the notion that cetaceans should be regarded as intelligent animals have been revealed. The evidence to support this is reviewed here and is best developed for some odontocete species, although recent studies […]

Innovation in wild Bornean orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus wurmbii)

In most studies to date, innovations were studied if their origination was witnessed or if they arose in response to a pronounced environmental change, making it difficult to generalize. In this study, we use an operational definition developed by Ramsey et al. (MS) to design a procedure for recognizing the standing repertoire of innovations (in […]