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Culture Evolves$
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Andrew Whiten, Robert A. Hinde, Christopher B. Stringer, and Kevin N. Laland

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199608966

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199608966.001.0001

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Social Traditions and Social Learning in Capuchin Monkeys (Cebus)*

Social Traditions and Social Learning in Capuchin Monkeys (Cebus)*

Chapter:
(p.89) Chapter 6 Social Traditions and Social Learning in Capuchin Monkeys (Cebus)*
Source:
Culture Evolves
Author(s):

Susan Perry

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199608966.003.0006

Capuchin monkeys (genus Cebus) have evolutionarily converged with humans and chimpanzees in a number of ways, including large brain size, omnivory and extractive foraging, extensive cooperation and coalitionary behaviour and a reliance on social learning. Recent research has documented a richer repertoire of group-specific social conventions in the coalition-prone Cebus capucinus than in any other non-human primate species; these social rituals appear designed to test the strength of social bonds. Such diverse social conventions have not yet been noted in Cebus apella, despite extensive observation at multiple sites. The more robust and widely distributed C. apella is notable for the diversity of its tool-use repertoire, particularly in marginal habitats. Although C. capucinus does not often use tools, white-faced capuchins do specialize in foods requiring multi-step processing, and there are often multiple techniques used by different individuals within the same social group. Immatures preferentially observe foragers who are eating rare foods and hard-to-process foods. Young foragers, especially females, tend to adopt the same foraging techniques as their close associates.

Keywords:   capuchins, social traditions, social conventions, Cebus, social learning

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