See also: Videos / Photographs / When in Rome… interactive 

Web Links

Animal Cultures Leaflet

Worksheets for Schools

Further Reading:

  • Content of Theme Issues of Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society ‘B’, including the following five that include multiple contributions from our team, are free for all to read 12 months after publication via ‘open access’ at: –
  • Biro, D., Haslam, M. & Rutz, C. (Editors, 2013) Tool Use as Adaptation. Vol 368, Issue 1630.
  • Heyes, C. et al. (Editors, 2009) Evolution, Development and Intentional Control of Imitation. Vol 364, pp 2291-2443.
  • Heyes, C. et al. (Editors, 2012) New Thinking: The evolution of human cognition. Vol 367, pp 2089-2246.
  • Grodzinski, U., Clayton, N.S. & Thornton, A. (Editors, 2012) Animal Minds: from computation to evolution. Vol 367, pp 2669-2802.
  • Whiten, A., Hinde, R. A., Stringer, C. B. & Laland, K. N. (Editors, 2011). Culture Evolves. Vol 366, pp 935-1187.


  • Hoppitt, W. & Laland, K. N. (2013) Social Learning: An introduction to mechanisms, methods and models. Princeton University Press.
  • Laland, K. N. & Galef, B. G. (2009) The Question of Animal Culture. Cambridge University Press.
  • Whiten, A., Hinde, R. A., Stringer, C. B. & Laland, K. N. (Eds.) (2012) Culture Evolves. Oxford University Press.



  1. Whiten. A. et al. Cultures in chimpanzees. Nature, 399, 682-6
  2. Whiten, A., et al. (2005). Conformity to cultural norms of tool use in chimpanzees. Nature, 437, 737-740.
  3. Whiten, A. et al. (2007) Transmission of multiple traditions within and between chimpanzee groups. Current Biology, 17, 1038-1043.


Teaching and Learning by Observation in Meerkats

  1. Thornton, A. & McAuliffe, K. (2006). Teaching in wild meerkats. Science, 313, 227-229.
  2. Thornton, A. & Malapert, A. (2009). Experimental evidence for social transmission of food acquisition techniques in wild meerkats. Animal Behaviour, 78, 255-264.


Social Networks

  1. J.Allen, M. Weinrich, W. Hoppitt, & L. Rendell. ‚Network-based diffusion analysis reveals cultural transmission of lobtail feeding in humpback whales’. Science 340, 485-488.
  2. Claidière, N., Messer, E. J. E., Hoppitt, W. & Whiten, A. (2013). Diffusion dynamics of socially learned foraging techniques in two groups of squirrel monkeys. Current Biology 23, 1251-1255.

Vervet Monkeys: ‘When in Rome…’

  1. E. van de Waal, C. Borgeaud, & A. Whiten. ‘Potent social learning and conformity shape a wild primate’s foraging decisions’. Science, 6131, 483-5.
  2. Price, E E., Lambeth, S. P., Schapiro, S. J. & Whiten, A. (2009). A potent effect of observational learning on chimpanzee tool construction. Proc. R. Soc. B, 276, 3377-3383

Culture in Fish?

  1. Laland K.N. & Janik V. (2006) The animal cultures debate. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 21: 542–547
  2. Laland, K.N. & Williams, K. (1997) Shoaling generates social learning of foraging information in guppies.Animal Behaviour 53: 1161–1169.
  3. Pike T.W. et al. (2010) Learning by proportional observation in a species of fish. Behavioural Ecology 21, 576-583.

Cumulative Culture

  1. Dean L.G., G.L. Vale, K.N. Laland, E. Flynn and R.L. Kendal (2014) Human cumulative culture: a comparative perspective. Biological Reviews, vol 89, 284-301. (2014)
  2. Marshall-Pescini, S, Whiten, A (2008) Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) and the question of cumulative culture: an experimental approach. Animal Cognition, 11, 449–456.
  3. Dean L.G., R.L. Kendal, S.J. Schapiro, B. Thierry and K.N. Laland (2012) Identification of the Social and Cognitive Capabilities Underlying Human Cumulative Culture. Science, 335 (6072) 1114- 1118

Complex Tool Technologies in New Caledonian Crows

  1. Rutz, C. et al. (2007). Video cameras on wild birds. Science 318, 765.
  2. Rutz, C. et al. (2010). The ecological significance of tool use in New Caledonian crows. Science 329, 1523–1526.
  3. Rutz, C. et al. (2012). Automated mapping of social networks in wild birds. Current Biology 22, R669–671.