Dynamic horizontal cultural transmission of humpback whale song at the ocean basin scale.
Journal - Current biology : CB (England )
Cultural transmission, the social learning of information or behaviors from conspecifics, is believed to occur in a number of groups of animals, including primates, cetaceans, and birds. Cultural traits can be passed vertically (from parents to offspring), obliquely (from the previous generation via a nonparent model to younger individuals), or horizontally (between unrelated individuals from similar age classes or within generations). Male humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) have a highly stereotyped, repetitive, and progressively evolving vocal sexual display or "song" that functions in sexual selection (through mate attraction and/or male social sorting). All males within a population conform to the current version of the display (song type), and similarities may exist among the songs of populations within an ocean basin. Here we present a striking pattern of horizontal transmission: multiple song types spread rapidly and repeatedly in a unidirectional manner, like cultural ripples, eastward through the populations in the western and central South Pacific over an 11-year period. This is the first documentation of a repeated, dynamic cultural change occurring across multiple populations at such a large geographic scale.Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
|ISSN : ||1879-0445|
|Mesh Heading : ||Animals Humpback Whale Imitative Behavior Male Social Behavior Sound Spectrography Time Factors|
|Mesh Heading Relevant : ||Learning Vocalization, Animal physiology|