Culture in Other Animals
Among the cultural studies of rats, the most widely discussed research is that performed by Joseph Terkel in 1991 on a species of black rats that he had originally observed in the wild in Israel. Terkel conducted an in-depth study aimed to determine whether the observed behavior, the systematic stripping of pine cone scales from pine cones prior to eating, was a socially acquired behavior, as this action had not been observed elsewhere. The experimentation with and observation of these black rats was one of the first to integrate field observations with laboratory experiments to analyze the social learning involved. From the combination of these two types of research, Terkel was able to analyze the mechanisms involved in this social learning to determine that this eating behavior resulted from a combination of ecology and cultural transmission, as the rats could not figure out how to eat the pinecones without being "shown" by mature rats. Though this research is fairly recent, it is often used as a prime example of evidence for culture in non-primate, non-cetacean beings.
Read more about this topic: Animal Culture
Famous quotes containing the words animals and/or culture:
“Man is head, chest and stomach. Each of these animals operates, more often than not, individually. I eat, I feel, I even, although rarely, think.... This jungle crawls and teems, is hungry, roars, gets angry, devours itself, and its cacophonic concert does not even stop when you are asleep.”
—René Daumal (19081944)
“All objects, all phases of culture are alive. They have voices. They speak of their history and interrelatedness. And they are all talking at once!”
—Camille Paglia (b. 1947)