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Teaching in marine mammals? Anecdotes versus science

  • Dario Maestripieri (a1) and Jessica Whitham (a1)

The use of anecdotes is not a viable research strategy to study animal culture. Social learning processes can often be documented with careful quantitative analyses of observational data. Unfortunately, suggestions that killer whales engage in teaching are entirely based on subjective interpretations of qualitative observations. Thus, “evidence” of teaching in killer whales cannot be used to argue for the occurrence of culture in marine mammals.

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Behavioral and Brain Sciences
  • ISSN: 0140-525X
  • EISSN: 1469-1825
  • URL: /core/journals/behavioral-and-brain-sciences
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