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The Biology of Traditions: Models and Evidence

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Overview

In exploring socially-maintained behavioral traditions in animals other than humans, this study treats traditions as biological phenomena amenable to comparative evaluation in the same way as other biological phenomena. Concerned with how widely shared features of social life and learning abilities can lead to traditions in many species, it differs from other books in its emphasis on explicit evaluation of alternative theories and methods, and in the breadth of species covered. It is essential reading for students and researchers in animal behavior, anthropology and psychology.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Fragaszy and Perry have generated a book that is likely to reward any scientist—and certainly any behavioral scientist —interested in the nature of evidence and in relationships between appearance and reality." BioScience

"I found this book a fascinating and stimulating read. These are exciting times in the study of marine mammal behaviour, and I sincerely hope this volume will stimulate more research on this fascinating topic in our own field." Aquatic Mammals, Luke Rendell

"... A rich and comprehensive volume, grounded in traditional ethology, that offers a timely complement to a library of volumes on social learning in animals. Fragaszy and Perry have assembled some interesting and provocative contributions from some of the leading researchers in the field of social learning. Ethology

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521087308
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 12/11/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 476
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Dorothy M. Fragaszy is a professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Georgia and Chair of the Biopsychology program.

Susan Perry is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Los Angeles, and Head of the research group for Cultural Phylogeny at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.

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Table of Contents

List of contributors
Preface
Acknowledgements
1 Towards a biology of traditions 1
2 What the models say about social learning 33
3 Relative brain size and the distribution of innovation and social learning across the nonhuman primates 56
4 Social learning about food in birds 94
5 The cue reliability approach to social transmission: designing tests for adaptive traditions 127
6 "Traditional" foraging behaviors of brown and black rats (Rattus norvegicus and Rattus rattus) 159
7 Food for thought: social learning about food in feeding capuchin monkeys 187
8 Traditions in mammalian and avian vocal communication 213
9 Like mother, like calf: the ontogeny of foraging traditions in wild Indian Ocean bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops sp.) 236
10 Biological and ecological foundations of primate behavioral tradition 267
11 Local traditions in orangutans and chimpanzees: social learning and social tolerance 297
12 Developmental perspectives on great ape traditions 329
13 Do brown capuchins socially learn foraging skills? 365
14 Traditions in wild white-faced capuchin monkeys
15 Conclusions and research agendas 426
Further reading 441
Index 445
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