Animal Culture: Chimpanzee Table Manners?

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It was once believed that culture was only a human attribute, which distinguished us from other species, and made Homo sapiens unique. After a number of experiments and studies, it has come to light that culture can be seen in numerous different species, ranging from birds to fish and to chimpanzees. The main distinction of which species have culture comes from the definition of culture itself. At the base of culture, is imitation which continues to lead into social learning, which finally creates tradition. This process can be seen not only in human interaction, but in wild chimpanzees as well.
In anthropology, culture is an important definition that changes the way we categorize and differentiate species. By reading several articles, it is clear that there is no one singular definition of culture. The articles “Animal Culture: Chimpanzee Table Manners?” and “Apes in Africa: The Cultured
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The first article simply states that culture is what shapes human behaviours (Call 2009: 981), while the second says that culture is defined by socially transferred behaviours (Vaidyanathan 2011:267). Meanwhile, the article, “Do Animals Have Culture”, looks into a deep description of the different meanings of culture and the one it believes closest to be true. It begins by expressing the fact that narrow definitions of culture would limit our perception to the origins of culture and would create a biased view that humans are unique. Thus, it states that a more extensive definition would encourage data collection, which would include both social and biological sciences. It states that an effective definition of culture is the common group actions and patterns seen in a

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