1. Luke Rendell & Hal Whitehead (2001). Cetacean Culture: Still Afloat After the First Naval Engagement of the Culture Wars. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 24 (2):360-373.
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  2. Luke Rendell & Hal Whitehead (2001). Culture in Whales and Dolphins. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 24 (2):309-324.
    Studies of animal culture have not normally included a consideration of cetaceans. However, with several long-term field studies now maturing, this situation should change. Animal culture is generally studied by either investigating transmission mechanisms experimentally, or observing patterns of behavioural variation in wild populations that cannot be explained by either genetic or environmental factors. Taking this second, ethnographic, approach, there is good evidence for cultural transmission in several cetacean species. However, only the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops) has been shown experimentally to (...)
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  3. Hal Whitehead, The Evolution of Conformist Social Learning Can Cause Population Collapse in Realistically Variable Environments.
    Why do societies collapse? We use an individual-based evolutionary model to show that, in environmental conditions dominated by low-frequency variation (“red noise”), extirpation may be an outcome of the evolution of cultural capacity. Previous analytical models predicted an equilibrium between individual learners and social learners, or a contingent strategy in which individuals learn socially or individually depending on the circumstances. However, in red noise environments, whose main signature is that variation is concentrated in relatively large, relatively rare excursions, individual learning (...)
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