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Our inquiry concentrated on seven sites with chimpanzees habituated to human onlookers; all told, the study compiled a total of more than 150 years of chimpanzee observation. The behavior patterns we were particularly interested in, of course, were those absent in at least one community, yet habitual or customary in at least one other; this was our criterion for denoting any behavior a cultural variant. (Certain behaviors are absent for specific local reasons, however, and we excluded them from consideration.

Trainer: Alex: Trainer: Alex: Trainer: Alex: Trainer: Now, how many key? Key. That’s right, keys. How many? Two wood. There are two wood, but you tell me, how many key? Five. Okay, Alex, that’s the number of toys; you tell me, how many key? Alex: Three. Irene: Three? Trainer: Good boy! Here’s a key. DIALOGUE 2 Irene: Okay, Alex, here’s your tray. Will you tell me how many blue block? Alex: Block. Irene: That’s right, block…how many blue block? Alex: Four. Irene: That’s right. Do you want the block?

Equals that of adult humans who are given a very short time to quantify similarly a subset of items on a tray, according to work done by Lana Trick and Zenon Pylyshyn of the University of Western Ontario. Alex also comprehends at least one relative concept: size. He responds accurately to questions asking which of two objects is the bigger or smaller by stating the color or material of the correct item. ” Next, we will try to get Alex to tackle relative spatial relations, such as over and under.

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