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6 March 2014 1:04 pm ,
Vol. 343 ,
Early in April, the first of a fleet of environmental monitoring satellites will lift off from Europe's spaceport in...
Since 2000, U.S. government health research agencies have spent almost $1 billion on an effort to churn out thousands...
Magdalena Koziol, a former postdoc at Yale University, was the victim of scientific sabotage. Now, she is suing the...
Antiretroviral drugs can protect people from becoming infected by HIV. But so-called pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP...
Two studies show that eating a diet low in protein and high in carbohydrates is linked to a longer, healthier life, and...
Considered an icon of conservation science, researchers at World Wildlife Fund (WWF) headquarters in Washington, D.C.,...
The new atlas, which shows the distribution of important trace metals and other substances, is the first product of...
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ScienceShot: Chimps Imitate Their Idols
24 May 2010 4:43 pm
Humans aren't the only ones who are picky about the role models they emulate. Our closest furry relatives also prefer to copy the behavior of prestigious individuals. In a study reported this month in PLoS ONE, groups of chimps observed a young, low-ranking and an older, high-ranking female perform distinct tasks to receive food (In the photo, high-ranking Ericka is seen on the left and low-ranking Georgia on the right.) One female was trained to deposit a plastic rod into a spotted trash receptacle, while the other female was taught to slip the rod into a striped, erect tube. After observing these routines for 20 minutes, the remaining chimps were allowed to participate. They modeled the behavior of the high-status chimp up to nine times more frequently than the low-ranking one. The practice may explain why there is so much geographic variation in tool use among chimpanzees, and it may be evolutionarily beneficial because high-ranking individuals have a track record of success.
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