Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Human Culture in Primates

It has been widely accepted that social interactions and culture that we experience is something that differentiates humans from primates. However, a recent study in South America shows that there are some monkeys who have been able to learn skills through social interactions. The example given is that when a predator is spotted, one monkey will begin banging a rock to make a loud noise. While this is seen as a way to scare off the predator, it also is a way to warn the other members of the group of the predator. However, it was also noticed that even without a predator in sight, older and younger monkeys were seen banging rocks as though the older monkeys were teaching the younger ones. The article highlights that this rock banging is seen as a way of communication between the monkeys as well as an example of social learning, which scientists were/are not sure is possible within primates.

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