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Male yellow-crowned bishops (Euplectes afer afer) acquire a novel foraging behaviour by social learning
- Danel, Samara, van Buuren, Magdalena, von Bayern, Auguste M. P., Osiurak, François
- Journal of ethology 2019 v.37 no.2 pp. 235-239
- Euplectes, birds, cognition, evolution, foraging, learning, males, problem solving, social behavior
- 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.