This article is the second part of a two-part series on animal culture. The first part discusses some new findings of adopting local food preferences in vervet monkeys.
In a double-whammy of animal culture in the most recent issue of Science, Jenny Allen, Mason Weinrich, Will Hoppitt & Luke Rendell report a study based on twenty-seven years worth of data showing that humpback whales culturally transmit a particular way of catching fish.
In 1980 a single whale was first seen engaging in a novel feeding behaviour called 'lobtail feeding'. This was a new twist on a more common way of feeding that had been seen previously, so-called 'bubble feeding'. In bubble feeding, the whale dives down below a shoal of fish, blows bubbles up at them, creating a net around its prey, and then lunges up through the discombobulated group of fish with its mouth open. What this whale was doing hadn't been seen before: it lobbed its tail down, hard on the water surface before blowing bubbles.