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Bumblebees and Chimps Can Teach Skills to Offsprings Like Humans

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By Jaden Francis - - 5 Mins Read
Bumblebee set to perch on bright red flowet
Featured Photo | Shutterstock

Did you know that animals like chimpanzees and Bumblebees can teach skills to one another?

These are tedious and complicated skills that no animal can learn on its own. 

This unique ability was only associated with humans, but animals such as Bumblebees and Chimpanzees have hacked the age-long protocol and can now do the same.

Several experiments have previously proved that some animals are capable of social learning by observing how others perform an activity and trying it out later.

These abilities are perfected over time, and the animals become experts in the skills.

One of the talents that crowns humanity's culture is the ability to build knowledge, skills, and technology and improve them over time, known as a cumulative culture. This knowledge is then passed down from one generation to another.

Animals that learn from each other have practiced cumulative culture, passing their skills from generation to generation.

Some of the skills include cracking and opening nuts and navigating the body in incredible situations.

Scientists who conducted research have discovered that Chimpanzees and Bumblebees cannot learn these skills by themselves unless they are taught and achieved together.

The first step in the incredible process of animals learning from each other is for a group or individual to perform a skill and then teach it to others.

During the research, the bees were divided into groups, and some sets were given a two-step puzzle box.

The task was to push a blue tab and then a red tab to get the sugar prize.

A co-author at the University of Queen Mary, Alice Bridges, said, "The task seems difficult for the bees because they were asked to perform the task with nothing in return at the first attempt."

In the beginning, the bees were baffled but tried to push the red tab instead of the blue one first, making them tired and giving up the task.

So, to motivate the bees, the scientist added a sugar treat as a reward at the end of the first task, but it was stylishly withdrawn as the bees began to get familiar with the process.

The former bees were later paired with the new ones, who had yet to undergo the process.

The new bees paid a keen interest to the former ones and observed them before giving it a go.

Of the 15 new bees, 5 could perform the task without difficulty and no reward for the first stage.

A professor of the cognitive revolution, Alex Thornton, said, "The point is crystal clear. Despite the task being hard, some of the bees were able to learn and do them through social learning."

The research was also carried out on chimpanzees. This took longer, but it was a good one. The Chimpanzees were trained for three months.


Chimpanzee hops excitedly in green field
Chimps were also accessed | Anna Roberts/Unsplash


The tests included holding an open drawer, retrieving some wooden balls, and then closing the drawer after slotting the ball into it to get a peanut prize at the end.

Although some chimpanzees failed the puzzle, the ones who succeeded trained the ones who failed, and they mastered the skill.

Bridges finally concluded that cumulative culture is very challenging and that only the smartest species of men or animals can master it.