The Five Cs in other animal species

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A note for Lesson no. 7, "Our Brains Can Create Reality," in Seven and a Half Lessons About the Brain by Lisa Feldman Barrett.
Some context from page 118 is:

Each of the Five C's is found in other animals to varying extents.

See these references for the statements I make about animals in lesson no. 7:

  • "Crows [...] are creative problem-solvers who use twigs as tools." For example: [1][2]
  • "Elephants communicate in low rumbles that can travel for miles." For example: [3][4][5]
  • "Whales copy each other’s songs." For example: [6][7][8][9][10][11][12]
  • "Ants cooperate to find food and defend their nest." For example: [13][14][15][16][17]
  • "Bees use abstraction as they wiggle their bums to tell their hive-mates where to find nectar." For example: [18][19][20]
  • "Songbirds learn their songs from adult tutors." For example: [21][22][23]
  • "Meerkats teach their offspring to kill by bringing them half-dead prey to practice on."[24]
  • "Rats teach each other what’s safe to eat by marking palatable foods with an odor." (See examples in the note "other creatures regulate each other's body budgets.")
  • "Chimps can observe and copy each other’s practices, like poking a stick into termite holes to pull out tasty snacks...."[25][26][27]

For more fascinating examples, see Laland (2017) and references therein.[28]


  1. Troscianko, Jolyon, and Christian Rutz. 2015. "Activity Profiles and Hook-Tool Use of New Caledonian Crows Recorded By Bird-Borne Video Cameras." Biology Letters 11 (12): 20150777.
  2. von Bayern, Auguste Marie Philippa, Samara Danel, A. M. I. Auersperg, Berenika Mioduszewska, and A. Kacelnik. 2018. "Compound Tool Construction By New Caledonian Crows." Scientific Reports 8 (1): 1–8.
  3. Garstang, Michael. 2004. "Long-Distance, Low-Frequency Elephant Communication." Journal of Comparative Physiology A 190 (10): 791–805.
  4. Soltis, Joseph. 2010. "Vocal Communication in African Elephants (Loxodonta Africana)." Zoo Biology 29 (2): 192–209.
  5. Stoeger, Angela S., Gunnar Heilmann, Matthias Zeppelzauer, André Ganswindt, Sean Hensman, and Benjamin D. Charlton. 2012. "Visualizing Sound Emission of Elephant Vocalizations: Evidence for Two Rumble Production Types." PloS One 7 (11): e48907.
  6. Janik, Vincent M. 2014. "Cetacean Vocal Learning and Communication." Current Opinion in Neurobiology 28: 60–65.
  7. Payne, Katharine, and Roger Payne. 1985. "Large Scale Changes Over 19 Years in Songs of Humpback Whales in Bermuda." Zeitschrift für Tierpsychologie 68 (2): 89–114.
  8. Garland, Ellen C., Anne W. Goldizen, Melinda L. Rekdahl, Rochelle Constantine, Claire Garrigue, Nan Daeschler Hauser, M. Michael Poole, Jooke Robbins, and Michael J. Noad. 2011. "Dynamic Horizontal Cultural Transmission of Humpback Whale Song At the Ocean Basin Scale." Current Biology 21 (8): 687–691.
  9. Owen, Clare, Luke Rendell, Rochelle Constantine, Michael J. Noad, Jenny Allen, Olive Andrews, Claire Garrigue et al. 2019. "Migratory Convergence Facilitates Cultural Transmission of Humpback Whale Song." Royal Society Open Science 6 (9): 190337.
  10. Allen, Jenny A., Ellen C. Garland, Rebecca A. Dunlop, and Michael J. Noad. 2019. "Network Analysis Reveals Underlying Syntactic Features in a Vocally Learnt Mammalian Display, Humpback Whale Song." Proceedings of the Royal Society B 286 (1917): 20192014.
  11. Garland, Ellen C., Anne W. Goldizen, Matthew S. Lilley, Melinda L. Rekdahl, Claire Garrigue, Rochelle Constantine, Nan Daeschler Hauser, M. Michael Poole, Jooke Robbins, and Michael J. Noad. 2015. "Population Structure of Humpback Whales in the Western and Central South Pacific Ocean As Determined By Vocal Exchange Among Populations." Conservation Biology 29 (4): 1198–1207.
  12. Noad, Michael J., Douglas H. Cato, M. M. Bryden, Micheline-N. Jenner, and K. Curt S. Jenner. 2000. "Cultural Revolution in Whale Songs." Nature 408 (6812): 537–537.
  13. Franks, Nigel R., and Tom Richardson. 2006. "Teaching in Tandem-Running Ants." Nature 439 (7073): 153–153.
  14. Jackson, Duncan E., and Francis LW Ratnieks. 2006. "Communication in Ants." Current Biology 16 (15): R570–R574.
  15. Lehue, Marine, Bertrand Collignon, and Claire Detrain. 2020. "Multiple Nest Entrances Alter Foraging and Information Transfer in Ants." Royal Society Open Science 7 (2): 191330.
  16. Frank, Erik Thomas, Thomas Schmitt, Thomas Hovestadt, Oliver Mitesser, Jonas Stiegler, and Karl Eduard Linsenmair. 2017. "Saving the Injured: Rescue Behavior in the Termite-Hunting Ant Megaponera Analis." Science Advances 3 (4): e1602187.
  17. Huang, Ming H. 2010. "Multi-phase Defense By the Big-Headed Ant, Pheidole Obtusospinosa, Against Raiding Army Ants." Journal of Insect Science 10 (1): 1.
  18. Dornhaus, Anna, and L. Chittka. 1999. "Evolutionary Origins of Bee Dances." Nature 401 (6748): 38–38.
  19. I'Anson Price, Robbie, and Christoph Grüter. 2015. "Why, When and Where Did Honey Bee Dance Communication Evolve?" Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 3: 125.
  20. Leadbeater, Ellouise, and Lars Chittka. 2007. "Social Learning in Insects — From Miniature Brains To Consensus Building." Current Biology 17 (16): R703–R713.
  21. Mennill, Daniel J., Stéphanie M. Doucet, Amy EM Newman, Heather Williams, Ines G. Moran, Ian P. Thomas, Bradley K. Woodworth, and D. Ryan Norris. 2018. "Wild Birds Learn Songs from Experimental Vocal Tutors." Current Biology 28 (20): 3273–3278.
  22. Chen, Yining, Laura E. Matheson, and Jon T. Sakata. 2016. "Mechanisms Underlying the Social Enhancement of Vocal Learning in Songbirds." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 113 (24): 6641–6646.
  23. Catchpole, C. K., and P. J. B. Slater. 2008. Bird Song: Biological Themes and Variations, second edition. New York: Cambridge University Press.
  24. Thornton, Alex, and Katherine McAuliffe. 2006. "Teaching in Wild Meerkats." Science 313 (5784): 227–229.
  25. Whiten, A., J. Goodall, W. C. McGrew, T. Nishida, V. Reynolds, Y. Sugiyama, C. E. G. Tutin, R. W. Wrangham and C. Boesch. 2001. "Charting Cultural Variation in Chimpanzees." Behaviour 138 (11/12): 1481–1516.
  26. Whiten, Andrew. 2017. "Culture Extends the Scope of Evolutionary Biology in the Great Apes." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 114 (30): 7790–7797.
  27. Musgrave, Stephanie, David Morgan, Elizabeth Lonsdorf, Roger Mundry, and Crickette Sanz. 2016. "Tool Transfers Are a Form of Teaching Among Chimpanzees." Scientific Reports 6: 34783.
  28. Laland, Kevin N. 2017. Darwin’s Unfinished Symphony: How Culture Made the Human Mind. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.