Culture and Nonhuman Primates


Tom Van Cantfort with Dar a four year old, male, cross-fostered chimpanzee. This photo was taken on the Teaching Sign Language to Chimpanzees project. The directors of the project are Allen and Beatrix Gardner.

Photo taken by Franz de Waal
This Photo is , permission by Franz de Waal is required
to reproduce this picture.

A mother Japanese macaque with her infant washing a sweet potato

An orangutan using a tool to fish

This Photo is , permission by Roger Fouts is required to reproduce this picture.

Washoe with her adopted infant son Loulis at CHCI


A Japanese macaque in a hot spring keeping warm during winter. Click here for a National Geographic article on the Japanese macaque and the hot springs.

An orangutan eating durian fruit

Tool use in Chimpanzees Primate Taxonomy  (Palomar College) Evidence for Orangutan Culture
Nonhuman Primate Behavior Patterns  Social Behaviors of Japanese Macaques Culture in Humans and Apes
Apes Got Culture  Japanese Macaques Social Groups Ticklist Apes
Chimpanzee and Human Communication Institute (CHCI)  Japanese Macaques Decision Making in Orangutans
Videos of Washoe, Moja, Tatu, Dar and Loulis at CHCI  Descriptions of Japanese Macaques Do Apes Know when they have made a Mistake?
Monkeys Show a Sense of Fairness  Youtube Video on Sweet Potatoes Washing Orangutan Culture Develops Like Human Culture
Resources on Animals and Language Facts about Japanese Macaques The Culture of Orangutans
Sign Language Studies with Chimpanzees More facts about Japanese Macaques Discovering the Culture of Orangutans
Genetic relationship between Humans and Chimpanzees   Is Orangutan Culture Made of Ideas?
Chimpanzee Culture
Videos of Chimpanzee Behavior
Comparative Vocalizations Bonobos & Chimpanzees
Chimpanzee Vocalizations
Chimpanzee Brain


BBC News (2007, March, 29). Should apes have human rights? Retrieved April 15, 2007 from
Castro, L., & Toro, M. A.(2004). The evolution of culture: From primate social learning to human culture. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, 101(27), 10235 - 10240.
Dautenhahn, Kerstin Evolvability, Culture and the Primate Social Brain -- Web Page
Hardus, M. E., Lameira, A. R., Van Shaik, C. P., & Wich, S. A. (2009) Tool use in wild orang-utans modifies sound production:  A functional deceptive innovationPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, 276, 3689 - 3694.
Lewis, H. M., & Laland, K. N. (2012). Transmission fidelity is the key to the build-up of cumulative culturePhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, 367, 2171 - 2180.
Lind, J., & Lindenfors, P. (2010). The number of cultural traits is correlated with female group size but not with male group size in chimpanzee communities.  PLoS One, 5(3)

McGrew, Andrew Culture in Nonhuman Primates -- Web Page
McGrew, A. (1999)
Culture in nonhuman primates?  Annual Review of Anthropology, 27, 301-328.
Sapolsky, R. M. (2006).  Social cultures among nonhuman primates. Current Anthroplogy, 47(4), 641 - 656

Science Blog (2010, March, 25). The primate diaries:  Cultural transmission in chimpanzees.
Van Cantfort, T. E., & Rimpau, J. B. (1982). Sign language studies with children and chimpanzees.  Sign Language Studies, 34, 15 - 72.
Van Shaik, C. P., & Burkart, J. M. (2011). Social learning and evolution:  The cultural intelligence hypothesisPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, 366, 1008 - 1016.
Van Shaik, C. P., Deaner, R. O, & Merrill, M. Y. (1999).  The conditions for tool use in primates:  Implications for the evolution of material culture. Journal of Human Evolution, 36, 719 - 741.
Van Shaik, C. P., et al. (2003). Orangutan culture and the evolution of material culture.
Science, 299, 102 - 105.
Volge, G. (2003). Orangutans, like chimps, heed the call of the collective. Science, 299, 27 - 28.
Weil, K. (2010).  A report on the animal turn. Differences, 21(2), 1 - 23.  -- What it means to be an animal.
Whiten, A. (2011).  The scope of culture in chimpanzees, human and ancestral apesPhilosophical Transanctions of the Royal Society B, 366, 997 - 1007.

Whiten, A., Goodal, J., McGrew, W. C., Nishida, T., Reynold, V., Sugiyama, Y., Tuten, C. E. G., Wrangham, R. W., & Boesch, C. (1999).  Cultures in chimpanzeesNature, 399, 682 - 685.
Workman, K., & Brasseur-Section, M. (2005).  Study of Social Behaviors in Human and Nonhuman Primate Groups.
Animal Cultures and Cultural Evolution.  -- Web Page with many references
Animal Behavior.  -- References
Primate Info Net.  -- References


Hit Counter
Visitors since 15 October 2001

Last Updated: 01/23/13 06:36 PM
Send comments to Thomas E. Van Cantfort