Friday, February 23, 2007

Spear-wielding chimps - New Scientist

This story from New Scientist blows my mind. It seems that a group of chimps in Senegal has been repeatedly observed sharpening 2-foot long sticks with their teeth, and then using the sticks to stab bush babies in their dens . The bush babies are then eaten. According to the article, it's the first human-observed instance of a non-human animal using a tool to kill a vertebrate. The article attributes this unusual behavior to the absence of a monkey species used by chimps as a meat source in most chimp-inhabited areas. They've used tools to adapt themselves to an environment outside that where they'd normally live. Sound familiar. Seems like the only thing that humans do, but other animals don't is... blog.

PS: The link contains links to a page with links to three videos. Unfortunately, I can't make out much more than a chimp jumping around a tree, and eating some sort of critter. I find it unpleasant and uninformative. YMMV.

1 comment:

Jokermage said...

You know that someday soon someone will give a chimpanzee a keyboard and then you'll have to eat those words.