CULTURE IN NONHUMAN PRIMATES?
W. C. McGrew
Department of Sociology, Gerontology and Anthropology and Department of Zoology
Miami University, Oxford, Ohio 45056
KEY WORDS: tradition, social learning, intergroup differences, cultural evolution, behavioral ecology
Cultural primatology is hypothesized on the basis of social learning of group-specific
behavior by nonhuman primates, especially in nature. Scholars ask different questions
in testing this idea: what? (anthropologists), how? (psychologists), and why?
(zoologists). Most evidence comes from five genera: Cebus (capuchin monkeys),
Macaca (macaque monkeys), Gorilla (gorilla), Pongo (orangutan), and Pan (chimpanzees).
Two species especially, Japanese monkey (Macaca fuscata) and chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes),
show innovation, dissemination, standardization, durability, diffusion, and tradition
in both subsistence and nonsubsistence activities, as revealed by decades of
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