Cultured chimp: they follow their role models

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London, Jan 9 (UNI) You idolise Jennifer Lopez for her stunning looks, Serena Williams for her outstanding tennis or Bill Gates for being software architect.

Well, you are not alone. More than humans looking up at reel and real life heroes that make them want to be better, its our closest relatives-- Chimpanzees, who rely on role models for becoming cultured, a new study reveals.

Differences in the way various communities of chimps eat, dance and court are ''cultural'' and depend on what they learn from fellow chimps, experts have claimed.

Scientists always believed that differences in behaviour between communities of chimpanzees were due to variations in genetics.

Researchers Andrew Whiten and Lydia Hopper conducted a series of experiments with 40 chimpanzees in captivity and revealed that they focussed on learning only about the physical results of actions.

''Imitation is more likely to produce a community of apes that all do a job the same way than is emulation. It will thus preserve features of ape culture more faithfully,'' the Telegraph quoted Dr Whiten as saying.

The study also revealed that some chimpanzees shared behavioural similarities with genetically different ones.

''This explains why some communities use similar methods for finding food, adopting certain behaviour and adapting different methods to suit their own environment. In this sense we can see for the first time that culture exists in our closest relatives,'' Dr Lycett said.


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