Natures wonders: killer penguins hunt in packs (Introduction)

by David Turell @, Thursday, September 28, 2017, 14:36 (881 days ago) @ dhw

QUOTE: “'This study provides the first evidence that penguins are actively interacting with other individuals to enhance hunting efficiency,” says Yuuki Watanabe at the National Institute of Polar Research, Japan. He says other penguins may do the same, but we don’t have evidence yet."

DAVID’s comment: This is undoubtedly a learned behaviour just like bubble-net feeding by humpback whales in Alaska, which has been shown to be a learned activity.

dhw: Perhaps I’ve misunderstood the implications of your comment, but please would you be a bit more specific about what you mean by a “learned activity”. Learned from what? It seems obvious to me that this would have started when some intelligent penguins realized that they could hunt more efficiently if they did it in packs, and they continue to use their intelligence to organize the hunt. But that doesn’t stop individuals from hunting too. What is the difference between this and human behaviour? Of course generations of penguins will learn from earlier generations, just as humans do, but in both cases it has to be penguin/human intelligence that starts things off.

Your comment is right on. The humpbacks were observed learning in the same way.

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