Tool Making Chimpanzees

We’ve know for quite a long while that chimpanzees use expedient tools – rocks to crack open things and twigs to pull termites out of mounds. But a new report on chimps in Senegal takes this to a whole new level.

Female chimps there have been observed making spears and using them to hunt bush babies. From the story:

“The chimps choose a branch, strip it of leaves and twigs, trim it down to a stable size and then chew the ends to a point. Then they use it to stab into holes where bush babies might be sleeping.”

Males never use the spears, only females and juvenile chimps.

“The observation that individuals hunting with tools include females and immature chimpanzees suggests that we should rethink traditional explanations for the evolution of such behavior in our own lineage ……………………The multiple steps taken by Fongoli chimpanzees in making tools to dispatch mammalian prey involve the kind of foresight and intellectual complexity that most likely typified early human relatives.”

Fascinating stuff and I can’t wait to read what feminist writers will make of this.

3 thoughts on “Tool Making Chimpanzees”

  1. Quite a contrast to Bonobo behavior. Nova had a show on them 2 weeks ago that was very informative. Worth seeing if you get a chance.

  2. I see no fasinating or evolutionary discovery here. What I do see is an awful lot of theory and guessing games on what the article says is the first time this has been witnessed…how do you know they have npot been doing it for years…now it is not so fasinating…

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