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Observational Learning of Baboons and Avoidance of Mimics: Exploratory Tests

Pierre Jouventin, Georges Pasteur and Jean P. Cambefort
Evolution
Vol. 31, No. 1 (Mar., 1977), pp. 214-218
DOI: 10.2307/2407558
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2407558
Page Count: 5
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Abstract

Several baboons were tested for observational learning of discrimination between differently colored punishing (quinined) and rewarding (unquinined) banana slices. Observational learning proved highly effective. Then both color kinds of slices were left unquinined, one being thus a 'mimic' of the previously quinined slices. Mimicry proved operative 15 days without reinforcement after experience of the models. The proposal by Gans that observational learning could 1) protect from harmful prey baboons that have seen fellows at grips with such prey, and 2) generate and maintain protective mimicry among the prey of baboons, is supported.

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