Chimps ape others to learn tool use | Science News

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Chimps ape others to learn tool use

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12:56pm, August 30, 2005

Much like people, chimpanzees are inveterate conformists whose copycat tendencies enable them to develop cultural traditions, a new study suggests.

Andrew Whiten of the University of St. Andrews in Fife, Scotland, and his colleagues trained a high-ranking female in each of two chimpanzee groups to use a stick to release a food pellet from a ramp in a rectangular box.

One animal learned how to push the stick through an opening and against a block inside the box, knocking the food off the ramp so that it could roll out through a chute. The other chimp learned to manipulate the stick to lift a hook that moved the block and allowed the food to roll into the chute.

Each dominant female was then returne

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