June 27, 2005
Culture, and Fish

The Washington Post today featured an article detailing what may be the first observed instance of culture in marine mammals. Dolphins, to be specific. Scientists have observed the females of one group of Australian dolphins wearing sea sponges as a kind of shield while they forage for food. The behavior is learned, passed down from mother to (almost exclusively) daughter, and does not appear to be genetically based. This does not, of course, preclude controversy, with other scientists remaining unconvinced that this really is a form of culturally-based behavior.

Posted by scott at June 27, 2005 08:55 AM

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Yeah - correlation doesn't necessarily equal cause and effect, however, it's bloody interesting. I think we should get a grant and move to Australia to observe and study them. Think about it - doing nothing but spending time in the sun, scuba diving, and playing with dolphins.

It'd be great

Posted by: ronaprhys on June 27, 2005 11:18 AM
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