WASHINGTON (AP) — Some chimpanzee groups are stone-throwers. Some use rocks to crack open tree nuts to eat. Others use sticks to fish for algae.
As researchers learn more about Homo sapiens‘ closest living genetic relatives, they are also discovering more about the diversity of behaviors within chimpanzee groups — activities learned, at least in part socially, and passed from generation to generation.
These patterns are referred to as “traditions” — or even animal “culture.” In a new study in the journal Science, researchers argue that this diversity of behaviors should be protected as species themselves are safeguarded, and that they are now under threat from human disturbance.