It’s easy to think of socially rich cultures as a uniquely human phenomenon. However, even animals with much smaller brains exhibit culture all their own! We discuss what this looks like in macaques (monkeys) and birds before tackling the real kicker: culture in fruit flies. As a fun aside, sleeping in is a cultural trait in meerkats! How does evolution and a universal need to fit in contribute to building these cultures? Tune in to find out!
Illustration by Julian Wagner for Caltech Letters. Based on Danchin et al. 2018.
Aditi, John, Julian, and Lev also discuss how fitting in and academic lab culture influenced how they picked their research group for graduate school.
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Cover image: A cultured fly. Watercolor by Julian Wagner for Caltech Letters.