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The Question of Animal Culture

The Question of Animal Culture

Edited by Kevin N. Laland and Bennett G. Galef

ISBN 9780674031265

Publication date: 02/16/2009

Fifty years ago, a troop of Japanese macaques was observed washing sandy sweet potatoes in a stream, sending ripples through the fields of ethology, comparative psychology, and cultural anthropology. The issue of animal culture has been hotly debated ever since. Now Kevin Laland and Bennett Galef have gathered key voices in the often rancorous debate to summarize the views along the continuum from “Culture? Of course!” to “Culture? Of course not!” The result is essential reading for anyone interested in the validity of animal culture, and what it might say about our own.

Praise

  • The Question of Animal Culture, edited by Kevin N. Laland and Bennett G. Galef, is the first, most scientific, and challenging look at what culture means for animals ranging from birds to nonhuman primates… The Question of Animal Culture is well written and well organized, the authors are the giants in the field, the research is rigorous, the issues and topics are discussed and argued convincingly, and the book is fun and interesting to read. This landmark compendium of current thought describes well the serious debate about culture in animals. I recommend it highly.

    —Joanna Burger, BioScience

Authors

  • Kevin N. Laland is a Professor in the School of Biology at the University of St Andrews.
  • Bennett G. Galef is Emeritus Professor of Psychology, McMaster University, and past editor of Animal Behaviour.

Book Details

  • 360 pages
  • 6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches
  • Harvard University Press

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