Animal Cognition

, Volume 6, Issue 4, pp 235–244

Role of mothers in the acquisition of tool-use behaviours by captive infant chimpanzees

Original Article

Abstract

This article explores the maternal role in the acquisition of tool-use behaviours by infant chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). A honey-fishing task, simulating ant/termite fishing found in the wild, was introduced to three dyads of experienced mother and naïve infant chimpanzees. Four fishing sites and eight sets of 20 objects to be used as tools, not all appropriate, were available. Two of the mothers constantly performed the task, using primarily two kinds of tools; the three infants observed them. The infants, regardless of the amount of time spent observing, successfully performed the task around the age of 20–22 months, which is earlier than has been recorded in the wild. Two of the infants used the same types of tools that the adults predominantly used, suggesting that tool selectivity is transmitted. The results also show that adults are tolerant of infants, even if unrelated; infants were sometimes permitted to lick the tools, or were given the tools, usually without honey, as well as permitted to observe the adult performances closely.

Keywords

Acquisition Chimpanzees Mother–infant Tool use Transmission 

Supplementary material

Video S1 An example of “Observe”. An infant (AYUMU) observes his mother (Ai) using a knobbly plastic string as a tool to fish for honey

hirata1.mpg (1.8 MB)

Video S2 An example of “Rejection”. A mother (Chloe) rejects her infant’s (CLEO) reaching for and trying to lick a tool (rubber tube) by pushing the infant’s head back

hirata2.mpg (1.2 MB)

Video S3 An example of “Allow to lick”. A mother (Ai) allows her infant (AYUMU) to take away and lick a tool (knobbly plastic string)

hirata3.mpg (1.5 MB)

Video S4 An example of “Give”. A mother (Ai) gives the tip of a tool to her infant (AYUMU). The infant reaches for the tool, but the mother licks it herself, then the mother gives the tip of the tool without honey to the infant. The tool touches the mouth of the infant, but the mother soon withdraws it

hirata4.mpg (1.4 MB)

Video S5 A successful insertion by an infant. An infant (PAL) inserts a rubber tube into a honey hole and succeeds in obtaining honey

hirata5.mpg (1.8 MB)

References

  1. Bard KA, Vauclair J (1984) The communicative context of object manipulation in ape and human adult-infant pairs. J Hum Evol 13:181–190Google Scholar
  2. Biro D, Matsuzawa T (1999) Numerical ordering in a chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes): planning, executing, and monitoring. J Comp Psychol 113:178–185CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Biro D, Inoue-Nakamura N, Tonooka R, Yamakoshi G, Sousa C, Matsuzawa T (2003) Cultural innovation and transmission of tool use in wild chimpanzees: evidence from field experiments. Anim Cogn DOI 10.1007/s10071-003-0183-xGoogle Scholar
  4. Boesch C (1991) Teaching among wild chimpanzees. Anim Behav 41:530–532Google Scholar
  5. Boesch C, Boesch-Achermann H (2000) The chimpanzees of the Taï forest: behavioural ecology and evolution. Oxford University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  6. Caro TM, Hauser MD (1992) Is there teaching in nonhuman animals? Q Rev Biol 67:151–174PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Chevalier-Skolnikoff S (1983) Sensorimotor development in orang-utans and other primates. J Hum Evol 12:545–561Google Scholar
  8. Fujita K, Matsuzawa T (1990) Delayed figure reconstruction by a chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) and humans (Homo sapiens). J Comp Psychol 104:345–351CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Galef BG (1988) Imitation in animals: history, definition and interpretation of data from the psychological laboratory. In: Zentall T, Galef BG (eds) Social learning: psychological and biological perspectives. Erlbaum, Hillsdale, N.J., pp 3–28Google Scholar
  10. Greenfield PM, Maynard AE, Boehm C, Schmidtling EY (2000) Cultural apprenticeship and cultural change: tool learning and imitation in chimpanzees and humans. In: Parker ST, Langer J, McKinney ML (eds) Biology, brains and behavior—the evolution of human development. School of American Research Press, Santa Fe, N.M., pp 237–277Google Scholar
  11. Hayashi M, Matsuzawa T (2003) Cognitive development in object manipulation by infant chimpanzees. Anim Cogn DOI 10.1007/s10071-003-0185-8Google Scholar
  12. Hirata S, Morimura N (2000) Naïve chimpanzees' (Pan troglodytes) observation of experienced conspecifics in a tool-using task. J Comp Psychol 114:291–296CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Inoue-Nakamura N, Matsuzawa T (1997) Development of stone tool use by wild chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). J Comp Psychol 111:159–173PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Kawai N, Matsuzawa T (2000) Numerical memory span in a chimpanzee. Nature 403:39–40PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. King BJ (1994) Primate infants as skilled information gatherers. Pre Perinat Psychol J 8:287–307Google Scholar
  16. Kojima S (1990) Comparison of auditory functions in the chimpanzee and human. Folia Primatol 55:62–72PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Matsuzawa T, Biro D, Humle T, Inoue-Nakamura N, Tonooka R, Yamakoshi G (2001) Emergence of culture in wild chimpanzees: education by master-apprenticeship. In: Matsuzawa T (ed) Primate origins of human cognition and behavior. Springer, Tokyo Berlin Heidelberg, pp 557–574Google Scholar
  18. McGrew WC (1977) Socialization and object manipulation of wild chimpanzees. In: Chevalier-Skolnikoff S, Poirier F (eds) Primate biosocial development: biological, social and ecological determinants. Garland STPM Press, New York, pp 261–288Google Scholar
  19. McGrew WC (1992) Chimpanzee material culture. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  20. Mori T, Yoshida T (1990) Technical book of data analysis for psychology (in Japanese). Kitaoji, KyotoGoogle Scholar
  21. Myowa-Yamakoshi M, Matsuzawa T (1999) Factors influencing imitation of manipulatory actions in chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). J Comp Psychol 113:128–136CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Nishida T, Hiraiwa M (1982) Natural history of a tool-using behavior by wild chimpanzees in feeding upon wood-boring ants. J Hum Evol 11:73–99Google Scholar
  23. Ochiai T, Matsuzawa T (1997) Planting trees in an outdoor compound of chimpanzees for an enriched environment. In: Hare V (ed) Proceedings of the third international conference on environmental enrichment congress. The Shape of Enrichment, San Diego, Calif., pp 355–364Google Scholar
  24. Paquette D (1992) Discovering and learning tool-use for fishing honey by captive chimpanzees. Hum Evol 7:17–30Google Scholar
  25. Sousa C, Matsuzawa T (2001) The use of tokens as rewards and tools by chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). Anim Cogn 4:213–221CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Sugiyama Y (1993) Local variation of tools and tool use among wild chimpanzee populations. In: Berthelet A, Chavaillon J (eds) The use of tools by humans and nonhuman primates. Clarendon Press, Oxford, pp 175–187Google Scholar
  27. Tanaka M (1995) Object sorting in chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes): classification based on physical identity, complementarity, and familiarity. J Comp Psychol 109:151–161CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. Teleki G (1974) Chimpanzee subsistence technology: materials and skills. J Hum Evol 3:575–594Google Scholar
  29. Tomonaga M (1998) Perception of shape from shading in chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) and humans (Homo sapiens). Anim Cogn 1:25–35CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Tonooka R (2001) Leaf-folding behavior for drinking water by wild chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus) at Bossou, Guinea. Anim Cogn 4:325–334CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Tonooka R, Tomonaga M, Matsuzawa T (1997) Acquisition and transmission of tool making and use for drinking juice in a group of captive chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). Jpn Psychol Res 39:253–265CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Whiten A, Goodall J, McGrew W, Nishida T, Reynolds V, Sugiayama Y, Tutin C, Wrangham R, Boesch C (1999) Culture in chimpanzees. Nature 399:682–685CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Primate Research InstituteKyoto UniversityKanrin, 484-8506 AichiJapan
  2. 2.Great Ape Research InstituteHayashibara Biochemical Laboratories, Inc.Okayama Japan

Personalised recommendations