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See Inside December 2006/January 2007

Monkey See, Great-Great-Great-Grand Monkey Do

Wild chimpanzees from different places often display distinct regional behaviors, leading researchers to suspect that chimps can maintain local traditions across many generations.

In support of this theory, Victoria Horner of Emory University and the University of St. Andrews in Scotland and her colleagues recently showed that captive chimpanzees can transfer newly acquired knowledge through a chain of simulated generations. The study suggests that cultural learning may be rooted deep within the evolutionary process and may be traced back to a common ancestor.

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