Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

Lack of conformity to new local dietary preferences in migrating captive chimpanzees

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

DOI

Author(s)

Gillian L. Vale, Sarah J. Davis, Erica van de Waal, Steven J. Schapiro, Susan P. Lambeth, Andrew Whiten

School/Research organisations

Abstract

Conformity to the behavioural preferences of others can have powerful effects on intra-group behavioural homogeneity in humans, but evidence in animals remains minimal. In this study, we took advantage of circumstances in which individuals or pairs of captive chimpanzees, Pan troglodytes, were “migrated” between groups, to investigate whether immigrants would conform to a new dietary population preference experienced in the group they entered, an effect suggested by recent fieldwork. Such ‘migratory-minority’ chimpanzees were trained to avoid one of two differently-coloured foods made unpalatable, before ‘migrating’ to, and then observing, a ‘local-majority’ group consume a different food colour. Both migratory-minority and local-majority chimpanzees displayed social learning, spending significantly more time consuming the previously unpalatable, but instead now edible, food, than did control chimpanzees who did not see immigrants eat this food, nor emigrate themselves. However, following the migration of migratory-minority chimpanzees, these control individuals and the local-majority chimpanzees tended to rely primarily upon personal information, consuming first the food they had earlier learned was palatable before sampling the alternative. Thus, chimpanzees did not engage in conformity in the context we tested; instead seeing others eat a previously unpalatable food led to socially learned and adaptive re-exploration of this now-safe option in both minority and majority participants.
Close

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-144
Number of pages10
JournalAnimal Behaviour
Volume124
Early online date16 Jan 2017
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2017

    Research areas

  • Conformity, Culture, Cultural transmission biases, Social learning, Social learning strategies

Discover related content
Find related publications, people, projects and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. A second inheritance system: the extension of biology through culture

    Whiten, A. 6 Oct 2017 In : Interface Focus. 7, 5, 16 p., 20160142

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Acquisition of a socially learned tool use sequence in chimpanzees: implications for cumulative culture

    Vale, G. L., Davis, S. J., Lambeth, S. P., Schapiro, S. J. & Whiten, A. Sep 2017 In : Evolution and Human Behavior. 38, 5, p. 635-644 10 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. Resilience of experimentally-seeded dietary traditions in wild vervets: evidence from group fissions

    van de Waal, E., van Schaik, C. P. & Whiten, A. 1 Aug 2017 In : American Journal of Primatology. Early View

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  4. Adaptive cultural transmission biases in children and nonhuman primates

    Price, E. E., Wood, L. A. & Whiten, A. Aug 2017 In : Infant Behavior and Development. 48, Part A, p. 45-53 9 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

  5. The extension of biology through culture

    Whiten, A., Ayala, F., Feldman, M. W. & Laland, K. N. 24 Jul 2017 In : Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Early Edition, 7 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Related by journal

  1. Mate choice intensifies motor signalling in Drosophila

    Debelle, A., Courtiol, A., Ritchie, M. G. & Snook, R. R. 14 Oct 2017 In : Animal Behaviour. 133, p. 169-187 19 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Vervet monkeys greet adult males during high-risk situations

    Mercier, S., Neumann, C., van de Waal, E., Chollet, E., de Bellefon, J. M. & Zuberbuhler, K. Oct 2017 In : Animal Behaviour. 132, p. 229-245

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. Divergent mechanisms of acoustic mate recognition between closely related field cricket species (Teleogryllus spp.)

    Bailey, N. W., Moran, P. & Hennig, R. M. Aug 2017 In : Animal Behaviour. 130, p. 17-25

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  4. Can females choose to avoid mating failure in the seed bug Lygaeus simulans?

    Greenway, E. V. . G., Balfour, V. L. & Shuker, D. M. Jul 2017 In : Animal Behaviour. 129, p. 61-69 9 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  5. Hoo are you? Tits do not respond to novel predators as threats

    Carlson, N. V., Healy, S. D. & Templeton, C. N. Jun 2017 In : Animal Behaviour. 128, p. 79-84 6 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Related by journal

  1. Animal Behaviour (Journal)

    Webster, M. M. (Editor)
    1 Jan 201731 Dec 2019

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workEditor of research journal

  2. Animal Behaviour (Journal)

    Healy, S. D. (Editor)
    1 Jun 201631 May 2020

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workEditor of research journal

  3. Animal Behaviour (Journal)

    Alfredo Fernandez Ojanguren (Member of editorial board)
    15 May 201312 Feb 2015

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workPeer review of manuscripts

  4. Animal Behaviour (Journal)

    Thomas Bugnyar (Editor)
    20082011

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workEditor of research journal

  5. Animal Behaviour (Journal)

    Rachel Louise Kendal (Editor)
    2007 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workEditor of research journal

ID: 248681923