News, Science & Environment

Although many animals teach, the phenomenon is best described in primates. Photo by Ben Block.

This yearling cheetah learned his vital hunting skills from his mother. Photo by Ben Block.

This yearling cheetah learned his vital hunting skills from his mother. Photo by Ben Block.

Few individuals have as an important and lasting of an impact as parents do. Good ones teach and support their offspring for the duration of their lives. They carry them into the world and guide them through childhood into adulthood. Lack of parental guidance can prove lethal to organisms of any species.

All animals are bestowed with innate qualities to ensure survival. However, these instincts are seldom enough to guide an animal through a successful life (granted, insects, crustaceans and other such organisms appear to be born with many of the vital traits necessary to help them endure. However, many studies imply that even these “dumber” organisms have the ability to learn and adapt).

Instead, many animals learn how to hunt, forage and survive from their parents. Big cats learn hunting by watching parents, primates actively teach offspring to forage and ants instruct the art of navigation to one another.

New discoveries on the teaching processes embedded in many organisms are helping to demonstrate the complexity of the animal kingdom.

Click here to read about these discoveries and a general description of the learning process in organisms.

 

You Might Also Like