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Male yellow-crowned bishops (Euplectes afer afer) acquire a novel foraging behaviour by social learning

Author:
Danel, Samara, van Buuren, Magdalena, von Bayern, Auguste M. P., Osiurak, François
Source:
Journal of ethology 2019 v.37 no.2 pp. 235-239
ISSN:
0289-0771
Subject:
Euplectes, birds, cognition, evolution, foraging, learning, males, problem solving, social behavior
Abstract:
This study investigated whether the socially foraging yellow-crowned bishop (Euplectes afer afer) was able to learn a problem-solving task by observing a conspecific. In the test group, subjects observed a demonstrator opening a box before being exposed to the same task. Birds from the control group did not receive a social demonstration. Five out of six individuals from the test group succeeded in opening the box whereas all six subjects of the control group failed to solve the task. Group foraging may have favoured the evolution of social learning in yellow-crowned bishops. However, only further studies will allow us to draw definitive conclusions about the evolutionary forces that shaped this cognitive ability, by comparing yellow-crowned bishops with non-social closely related species.
Agid:
6397377