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dc.contributor.authorLamon, Noemie
dc.contributor.authorNeumann, Christof
dc.contributor.authorGier, Jennifer
dc.contributor.authorZuberbühler, Klaus
dc.contributor.authorGruber, Thibaud
dc.identifier.citationLamon , N , Neumann , C , Gier , J , Zuberbühler , K & Gruber , T 2018 , ' Wild chimpanzees select tool material based on efficiency and knowledge ' , Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences , vol. 285 , no. 1888 , 20181715 .
dc.identifier.otherPURE: 255900692
dc.identifier.otherPURE UUID: 983f423a-ed1a-40e3-bf3e-dac500bf454f
dc.identifier.otherScopus: 85054780473
dc.identifier.otherWOS: 000446864300018
dc.identifier.otherORCID: /0000-0001-8378-088X/work/64360709
dc.descriptionThis work was funded by the European Research Council (FP7/2007-2013/ERC n°283871) and the Swiss National Science Foundation (grants 310030_143359 to KZ; CR13I1_162720 and P300PA_164678 to TG).en
dc.description.abstractSome animals have basic culture, but to date there is not much evidence that cultural traits evolve as part of a cumulative process as seen in humans. This may be due to limits in animal physical cognition, such as an inability to compare the efficiency of a novel behavioural innovation with an already existing tradition. We investigated this possibility with a study on a natural tool innovation in wild chimpanzees: moss-sponging, which recently emerged in some individuals to extract mineral-rich liquids at a natural clay-pit. The behaviour probably arose as a variant of leaf-sponging, a tool technique seen in all studied chimpanzee communities. We found that moss-sponges not only absorbed more liquid but were manufactured and used more rapidly than leaf-sponges, suggesting a functional improvement. To investigate whether chimpanzees understood the advantage of moss- over leaf-sponges, we experimentally offered small amounts of rainwater in an artificial cavity of a portable log, together with both sponge materials, moss and leaves. We found that established moss-spongers (having used both leaves and moss to make sponges) preferred moss to prepare a sponge to access the rainwater, whereas leaf-spongers (never observed using moss) preferred leaves. Survey data finally demonstrated that moss was common in forest areas near clay-pits but nearly absent in other forest areas, suggesting that natural moss-sponging was at least partly constrained by ecology. Together, these results suggest that chimpanzees perceive functional improvements in tool quality, a crucial prerequisite for cumulative culture.
dc.relation.ispartofProceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciencesen
dc.rights© 2018, The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. This work has been made available online in accordance with the publisher’s policies. This is the author created accepted version manuscript following peer review and as such may differ slightly from the final published version. The final published version of this work is available at
dc.subjectTool useen
dc.subjectField experimenten
dc.subjectPan troglodytesen
dc.subjectBF Psychologyen
dc.subjectQL Zoologyen
dc.titleWild chimpanzees select tool material based on efficiency and knowledgeen
dc.typeJournal articleen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews. Institute of Behavioural and Neural Sciencesen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews. Centre for Social Learning & Cognitive Evolutionen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews. School of Psychology and Neuroscienceen
dc.description.statusPeer revieweden

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