Now he takes this, now that; that's in, this is out; such coolEaster is hipster, my sneakers are Nike and yours are Nuke. Humanity has always adorned its body or adopted non-adaptive customs (such as putting on some uncomfortable kilometer heels) in order to distinguish itself from others and, at the same time, be part of a clan or social class. It is not something that has taken place with the advent of media or marketing. All societies have exhibited their own fashions throughout history.
What begins to be discovered is that something similar happens in the animal kingdom, although in more specific cases. We are not only talking about the paradigmatic example, which is the hyperbolic tail of a peacock, but ornaments or artificial elaborations that have no end to survival.
For example, the males of tilonorrinco, a bird from Australia and New Guinea, builds intricate nests that decorates futilely with various objects, such as orchids, snail shells, berries and tree barks. Some of them even literally paint those bower with residues of fruit that regurgitate, using leaves or bark as a brush.
An earring in the ear
Another recently discovered example is the grass-shaped earring with which some chimpanzees adorn their ear, a study published in the journal Animal Cognition by researchers from the Max Planck Institute of Psycholinguistics. Apparently, this fashion has been copied from each other in the group of chimpanzees studied, after a female named Julia did it for the first time.
According to the study, these chimpanzees selected a rigid cannula-shaped leaf, inserted it into one of their own ears, adjusted their position, without having any apparent function, and continued their daily lives. Apes were followed daily for a year, and it was found that eight of the twelve members of the group carried that ornament that was not limited to being an action that others learned to do, but a kind of tradition whose value lay in the image that projected.