Navigation Links
Primate culture is just a stone's throw away from human evolution, study finds
Date:1/12/2009

For 30 years, scientists have been studying stone-handling behavior in several troops of Japanese macaques to catch a unique glimpse of primate culture. By watching these monkeys acquire and maintain behavioral traditions from generation to generation, the scientists have gained insight into the cultural evolution of humans.

Primatologists Michael A. Huffman, Charmalie A.D. Nahallage, and Jean-Baptiste Leca from the Primate Research Institute in Kyoto, Japan assessed social learning exhibited by these macaques during stone-handling, a behavior that has been passed down from elder to younger since it was observed in some of the troops in 1979. Stone-handling, in this study, included rubbing and clacking stones together, pounding them onto hard surfaces, picking them up, and cuddling, carrying, pushing, rolling and throwing them.

The scientists found, for example, that an infant's proximity to their mother had a significant impact on the development of the infant's stone-handling abilities. In other words, infants with mothers who frequently exhibited stone-handling behaviors spent more time with their mother, about 75% of their time, during the first three months of life, and they also participated in stone-handling earlier in life than the other infants. These findings suggest that the mothers' frequent stone-handling caught the infants' attention, and as a result, the infants acquired the behavior more quickly than other infants.

Furthermore, as the primatologists reported in the December 2008 issue of Current Directions in Psychological Science, a publication of the Association for Psychological Science, the stone-handling behavior changed with each generation as individual macaques contributed their own patterns of stone-handling, such as stone-throwing.

"The recent emergence of a unique behavior, stone-throwing, may serve to augment the effect of intimidation displays," concluded the authors. "Research on such transformation may shed light on the evolution of stone-tool use in early hominids."


'/>"/>

Contact: Katie Kline
kkline@psychologicalscience.org
202-293-9300
Association for Psychological Science
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Texas A&M anthropologist discovers long-lost primate in Indonesia
2. Despite peacenik reputation, bonobos hunt and eat other primates too
3. Why some primates, but not humans, can live with immunodeficiency viruses and not progress to AIDS
4. Little teeth suggest big jump in primate timeline
5. Big brains arose twice in higher primates
6. Primates scent speaks volumes about who he is
7. Slowly-developing primates definitely not dim-witted
8. Researchers examine closest living relative to primates
9. Primate sperm competition: speed matters
10. Primate behavior explained by computer agents
11. Wonderful cheese is all in the culture
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/23/2017)... -- Research and Markets has announced the addition of ... Industry Forecast to 2025" report to their offering. ... The Global Vehicle Anti-Theft ... 8.8% over the next decade to reach approximately $14.21 billion by ... and forecasts for all the given segments on global as well ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... , March 21, 2017 Vigilant Solutions ... serving law enforcement agencies, announced today the appointment of ... director of public safety business development. Mr. ... enforcement experience, including a focus on the aviation transportation ... most recent position, Mr. Sheridan served as the Aviation ...
(Date:3/16/2017)... CeBIT 2017 - Against identity fraud with DERMALOG solutions "Made in Germany ... ... one project, multi-biometric solutions provide a crucial contribution against identity fraud. (PRNewsFoto/Dermalog Identification Systems) ... Used combined in one project, multi-biometric solutions provide a crucial contribution ... ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/14/2017)... ... June 14, 2017 , ... The newest company to join ... antibodies using rabbits that express human genes. ATGC, a spin out of the University ... 2015, ATGC is a translational genomics company. Its founders are among the first ...
(Date:6/14/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... June 13, ... ... a holistic approach for understanding the phenotype of an organism on a ... sample throughput and complicated data processing remain major bottlenecks to biomarker discovery ...
(Date:6/13/2017)... ... June 13, 2017 , ... ... flexible materials, has chosen The Copley Consulting Group to facilitate and deploy ... is aligning its manufacturing operations and strategic initiatives to increasing customer demands. ...
(Date:6/13/2017)... ... June 13, 2017 , ... ... the American Chemical Society (ACS) Green Chemistry Institute’s 21st Annual Green ... Dr. Feehery will address other business leaders, policy makers, educators, students and professionals ...
Breaking Biology Technology: