Study: Gorillas also have culture

Feb 21, 2006

U.S. scientists reportedly have identified the hallmark of culture -- behavior passed on by social rather than genetic influences -- among gorillas.

The study showed, for the first time, great apes are capable of developing behavioral traditions that are peculiar to specific groups, earthtimes.org reported Tuesday.

Researchers studied approximately 370 gorillas in 25 groups in 17 U.S. zoos and discovered 48 distinct behavioral differences among gorillas in different groups, which indicates the gorillas learned their behavior from the group in which they lived and not through genetic influences. The differences were noted even among different groups within the same zoo.

Lead author Tara Stoinski of Zoo Atlanta said the differences included the varying use of tools, signals to other gorillas and courting behaviors. The cultural conditioning had been previously observed among chimpanzees, orangutans and bonobos, earthtimes.org reported.

The study was presented this week during the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Digging up the 'Spanish Vikings'

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Washington takes on Uber with its own taxi app

3 hours ago

Washington is developing a smartphone app to enable its taxis to compete head-on with Uber and other ride-sharing services, the US capital's taxi commission said Friday.

Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in living color

3 hours ago

Rosetta's OSIRIS team have produced a color image of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko as it would be seen by the human eye. As anticipated, the comet turns out to be very grey indeed, with only slight, subtle ...

EU clean air, waste laws at risk

3 hours ago

EU Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker faces a clash with lawmakers after leaked documents Friday revealed his plans to drop laws on clean air and waste recycling.

Recommended for you

Digging up the 'Spanish Vikings'

10 hours ago

The fearsome reputation of the Vikings has made them the subject of countless exhibitions, books and films - however, surprisingly little is known about their more southerly exploits in Spain.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.