Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Japanese macaque

The Japanese macaque has a multimale-multifemale social system. Females remain in their natal group with the onset of maturity, but males will disperse shortly before adolescence. There is a hierarchical system amongst group members based upon the matriline. One female Japanese macaque named Imo invented how to wash sweet potatoes in a brook and to separate wheat from sand by throwing the mixture into a brook, letting the sand sink to the bottom, and scooping up the wheat that is floating at the surface (Nishida, 1987). This knowledge was passed on to other members of the troop, where playmates of Imo learnt the behavior first, then mothers would pass it on to their offspring (Nishida, 1987). Ths shows an example of culture in nonhuman primates.

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