Dolphin Tool Use
Biology 342 Fall 2010
Sarah Wesley & Morgan Movius
Tool Use in Bottlenose Dolphins
Shark Bay Dolphins Use Marine Sponges in Foraging Behavior
Tool use was once considered an ability possessed only by humans. However, it has been shown that a number of different animals use tools, including primates, elephants, otters, several bird species, and dolphins. Once one individual has developed tool use, the ability is culturally transmitted to other individuals. This is why many animals that use tools live in highly social communities, where frequent contact with other individuals facilitates learning. A behavioral trait such as tool use is considered to vary culturally if it is acquired through social learning from members of its species, and is repeatedly transmitted across generations. Cultural transmission can occur vertically (from parents to children), horizontally (between peers) or obliquely (from adults to children who are not their offspring).
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