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Chimps varied 'culture' matters for conservation, study says

the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
the German Center for Integrative Biodiversity Research
the University of St. Andrews
Policy Forum
the University of Zurich
the University of Oxford
Twitter at @larsonchristina___The Associated Press Health and Science Department
the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education

Ammie Kalan
Hjalmar Kühl
Jane Goodall
Carl Safina
Andrew Whiten
Carel van Schaik
Lydia Luncz
Christina Larson

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Others use sticks to fish for algae.As researchers learn more about Homo sapiens’ closest living genetic relatives, they are also discovering more about the diversity of behaviors within chimpanzee groups — activities learned, at least in part socially, and passed from generation to generation.These patterns are referred to as “traditions” — or even animal “culture.” In a new study , scientists argue that this diversity of behaviors should be protected as species themselves are safeguarded, and that they are now under threat from human disturbance.“What we mean by ‘culture’ is something you learn socially from your group members that you may not learn if you were born into a different chimpanzee group,” said Ammie Kalan, a primatologist at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany.“As chimpanzee populations decline and their habitats become fragmented, we can see a stark decline in chimpanzee behavioral diversity,” said Kalan, co-author of the sweeping new study published Thursday in the journal Science.The 10-year study, led by researchers at the Max Planck Institute and the German Center for Integrative Biodiversity Research, examines data on 144 chimpanzee communities in Africa and the occurrence of 31 specific behaviors, such as tool usage or rock throwing.The regions with the least human impact showed the greatest variety in chimp behaviors.

As said here by CHRISTINA LARSON