Tool use can be inherited, or acquired as an individual innovation or by social transmission. Having previously reported individual innovative tool use and manufacture by a Goffin cockatoo, we used the innovator (Figaro, a male) as a demonstrator to investigate social transmission. Twelve Goffins saw either demonstrations by Figaro, or ‘ghost’ controls where tools and/or food were manipulated using magnets. Subjects observing demonstrations showed greater tool-related performance than ghost controls, with all three males in this group (but not the three females) acquiring tool-using competence. Two of these three males further acquired tool-manufacturing competence. As the actions of successful observers differed from those of the demonstrator, result emulation rather than high-fidelity imitation is the most plausible transmission mechanism.
- Received April 22, 2014.
- Accepted August 6, 2014.
© 2014 The Authors. Published by the Royal Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/, which permits unrestricted use, provided the original author and source are credited.