"In the 1980s a single humpback whale in the Gulf of Maine developed the
“lobtail feeding method”. This unique hunting method of slapping the water’s
surface appears to drive fish into dense schools, making it easier to consume
them. Lobtail feeding caught on. Now many humpback whales are doing it.
Ecologists have long thought animals acted on instinct alone. But a growing
body of evidence shows many animals, much like us, have complex brains and
In our new research, we argue the science of ecology can learn a great deal
from the study of animal cognition and culture. Cognition is what goes on in
the mind, which determines how animals perceive and respond to the world around
them. Culture is the development and spread of socially learned behaviours.
These are important – but generally overlooked – mechanisms influencing
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*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics