|Title||Genetic and 'cultural' similarity in wild chimpanzees|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2011|
|Authors||Langergraber, KE, Boesch, C, Inoue, E, Inoue-Murayama, M, Mitani, JC, Nishida, T, Pusey, A, Reynolds, V, Schubert, G, Wrangham, RW, Wroblewski, E, Vigilant, L|
|Journal||Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences|
|Keywords||2010-08-26, chimpanzees, culture, learning, population structure|
The question of whether animals possess 'cultures' or 'traditions' continues to generate widespread theoretical and empirical interest. Studies of wild chimpanzees have featured prominently in this discussion, as the dominant approach used to identify culture in wild animals was first applied to them. This procedure, the 'method of exclusion,' begins by documenting behavioural differences between groups and then infers the existence of culture by eliminating ecological explanations for their occurrence. The validity of this approach has been questioned because genetic differences between groups have not explicitly been ruled out as a factor contributing to between-group differences in behaviour. Here we investigate this issue directly by analysing genetic and behavioural data from nine groups of wild chimpanzees. We find that the overall levels of genetic and behavioural dissimilarity between groups are highly and statistically significantly correlated. Additional analyses show that only a very small number of behaviours vary between genetically similar groups, and that there is no obvious pattern as to which classes of behaviours (e.g. tool-use versus communicative) have a distribution that matches patterns of between-group genetic dissimilarity. These results indicate that genetic dissimilarity cannot be eliminated as playing a major role in generating group differences in chimpanzee behaviour.
Genetic and 'cultural' similarity in wild chimpanzees
For years, I've worked on their bones. Now I'm working on their genes. Read more about the science studying these ancient people.
From a finger bone of an ancient human came the record of a completely unexpected population. My lab is working on the science of the Denisova genome.
The advent of agriculture caused natural selection to speed up greatly in humans. We're uncovering some of the ways that populations have rapidly changed during the last 10,000 years.