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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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Innovation as a Behavioural Response to Environmental Challenges: A Cost and Benefit Approach

Innovation as a Behavioural Response to Environmental Challenges: A Cost and Benefit Approach

Chapter:
(p.261) Chapter 12 Innovation as a Behavioural Response to Environmental Challenges: A Cost and Benefit Approach
Source:
Animal Innovation
Author(s):

Phyllis C. Lee

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198526223.003.0012

This chapter presents a general review of how non-human primates adjust to environmental variability via behavioural innovation, and place innovation into context as an adaptive strategy for coping with unpredictability. It explains that primates as a group are renowned for their behavioural flexibility, their technical capacities, and for creating new contexts for social opportunities. Both phylogeny and life history underlie differences between species in their capacity to innovate, while within species, local ecological opportunities and constraints affect when, where, how often and among which age–sex classes innovations may arise and become fixed within behavioural repertoires. The chapter outlines here in a theoretical context how modelling costs and benefits could increase our understanding of innovation and dissemination of novel behaviour.

Keywords:   non-human, primates, environment, variability, behaviour, innovation, unpredictability, flexibility, phylogeny, modelling

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