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Animal Innovation$
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Simon M. Reader and Kevin N. Laland

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780198526223

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198526223.001.0001

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Conditions of Innovative Behaviour in Primates

Conditions of Innovative Behaviour in Primates

(p.223) Chapter 10 Conditions of Innovative Behaviour in Primates
Animal Innovation

Hans Kummer

Jane Goodall

Oxford University Press

This chapter reveals that innovative behaviour achieved through exploration, learning, and insight heavily depends on certain motivational, social, and ecological conditions of short duration. The chapter proposes that more attention should be given to what these conditions are and where they are realized in natural groups of non-human primates. This chapter suggests that innovative behaviour was selected primarily in the situations that now most effectively teach it, and it would therefore be profitable to look systematically at the everyday situations in which present-day primates learn and invent most proficiently. These are the conditions by and for which their innovative dispositions must have been selected. This chapter further elaborates on the study of the chimpanzees at Gombe, in Tanzania, which is now in its 24th year. The longitudinal records provide many anecdotes regarding innovative behaviour and the discussion here concerns conditions favouring the appearance of novel patterns per se, and secondly the transmission of such patterns through the social group, which is based on this information.

Keywords:   innovative, behaviour, non-human, primates, chimpanzees, Gombe, novel patterns, social group

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