[MARMAM] New paper: Cultural Transmission of Lobtail Feeding in Humpback Whales

Jenny Allen ja465 at st-andrews.ac.uk
Fri Apr 26 04:02:51 PDT 2013

Dear colleagues,

We are pleased to announce the publication of the following
paper today (April 26) in Science:

Allen, J., Weinrich, M., Hoppitt, W. &
Rendell, L. (2013).  Network-Based Diffusion
Analysis Reveals Cultural Transmission of Lobtail Feeding in Humpback Whales. Science Vol. 340 no. 6131 pp. 485-488   DOI: 10.1126/science.1231976

Abstract: We used network-based diffusion analysis
to reveal the cultural
spread of a naturally occurring foraging innovation, lobtail feeding, through a population
of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae)
over a period of 27 years. Support for models with a social transmission component
was 6 to 23 orders of magnitude greater than
for models without. The spatial and temporal distribution of sand lance, a prey species, was also
important in predicting the rate of acquisition.
Our results, coupled with existing knowledge about song traditions, show that this
species can maintain multiple independently evolving
traditions in its populations. These insights strengthen the case that cetaceans represent a
peak in the evolution of nonhuman culture,
independent of the primate lineage.

The paper can be obtained from http://www.sciencemag.org/content/340/6131/485 or by emailing
Jenny Allen at ja465 at st-andrews.ac.uk
Please feel free to contact me with any questions you might
Best wishes,
Jenny Allen and co-authors
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