If you are familiar with Jane Goodall then you might also be familiar with the idea that chimpanzees use tools. In fact, you may remember that just last month J.B. posted an excellent blog about this subject. (If you haven’t had a chance to read it yet, you should!) This tool use, exhibited by chimpanzees across Africa, is a skill acquired by social learning. Social learning, in simple terms, refers to the idea that we can learn by observing the example of someone else and applying this model to our own behavior. There have been many studies done with varying results that indicate that chimpanzees are competent social learners. This morning I snapped a series of photos of the observation stage between Burrito and Jamie on the treat mound. I’m excited to see Burrito put his knowledge into action although sometimes social pressure can influence decisions too and, today, neither Burrito nor I appeared to think that Jamie was interested in sharing!
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