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Biologists Observe Gorillas Using Tools
ap on Yahoo ^ | 9/29/05 | Joseph B. Verrengia - AP

Posted on 09/29/2005 8:28:01 PM PDT by NormsRevenge

For the first time, biologists have documented gorillas in the wild using simple tools, such as poking a stick in a swampy pool of water to check its depth.

Until now, scientists had seen gorillas use tools only in captivity. Among the great apes, tool use in the wild was thought to be a survival skill reserved for smaller chimpanzees and orangutans.

The research in the Republic of Congo's rainforests was led by Thomas Breuer of the Wildlife Conservation Society at the Bronx Zoo, which released details of his study. Breuer is in Africa and was not immediately available for an interview.

"This is a truly astounding discovery," he said in a statement. "Tool usage in wild apes provides us with valuable insights into the evolution of our own species and the abilities of other species."

Other scientists said the observations were important, but not surprising.

Breuer's observations were made late last year in a marshy clearing called Mbeli Baia located in Nouabale-Ndoki National Park where monitoring has been ongoing since February 1995.

The first instance was observed last October when a female gorilla (nicknamed Leah by scientists) attempted to wade through a pool of water created by elephants, but found herself waist deep after only a few steps. Climbing out of the pool, she retrieved a branch from a dead tree and used the stick to test the depth of the water.

In November, a second female gorilla (named Efi) used a detached tree trunk to support herself with one hand while digging for herbs with the other hand. She also used the tree trunk as a bridge to cross a muddy patch of ground.

Details of the findings are being published in the online journal PLoS (Public Library of Science) Biology. Video of the gorillas will be broadcast Saturday on the PBS program "Wild Chronicles."

Fairly or not, gorillas have been considered less capable than other great apes, in part because they have not been as extensively studied.

Chimps, for example, have been continuously observed in the field for 40 years since Jane Goodall launched her landmark study at Gombe Stream in Tanzania. They have become stars of television documentaries and glossy magazine articles, displaying their extensive of use of rocks to break open hard-shelled nuts and sticks to "fish" termites from mounds.

In contrast, gorillas are much larger, stronger and slower.

"Chimps are portrayed as the super-ape and gorillas are the big brutes in the forest," said Richard Carroll, a primate expert and director of the Africa program at the World Wildlife Fund in Washington, D.C. He has conducted gorilla field studies since 1980. He did not contribute to Breuer's report.

"Gorillas are very intelligent, but they don't have to be as delicate as chimps — they can just smash open the termite nest," said Carroll, who a decade ago reported observing gorillas using sticks to ward off attacking leopards.

"New studies like this show that especially lowland gorillas are very chimplike in their abilities," he said.

Carroll said the new study was made possible by the establishment of protected parks in Congo by agreements between conservation groups, international agencies and the government. The populations of gorillas and other great apes are severely imperiled by logging, hunting and outbreaks of the Ebola virus. And, civil war in Congo has made field science dangerous for years.

"It's a tribute to conservation efforts that allow people to sit and observe and not be in fear of their lives," he said.

___

On the Net:

http://www.plosbiology.org


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: biologists; gorilla; observe; tools; using
Heck, they've been driving luggage carts and handling luggage at airports for years.
1 posted on 09/29/2005 8:28:02 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
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To: NormsRevenge

I once saw a three stooges episode where a gorilla drove a car.....or maybe it was a bear.


2 posted on 09/29/2005 8:30:31 PM PDT by keithtoo (Howard Dean is a Rove plant, Rove is a NeoCon plant, NeoCons are Trilateralist plants....)
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To: NormsRevenge

Couple of apes worked on my mustang. Had to sell it.


3 posted on 09/29/2005 8:32:08 PM PDT by afnamvet
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To: NormsRevenge

Gorillas use tools?


Hell, the left used Cindy al Sheehadi, so gorillas using tools, not that big a deal.


4 posted on 09/29/2005 8:33:17 PM PDT by trubluolyguy (I am conservative. That is NOT the same thing as Republican. Don't place party over principle.)
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To: NormsRevenge

Big deal. We have a certain Nordic variety of kittens around here that can handle firearms, explosives, bolts of lightning, and all sorts of weapons of mass troll destruction.


5 posted on 09/29/2005 8:34:01 PM PDT by Choose Ye This Day (I just stepped in a big pile of sassy.)
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To: keithtoo

N'Yuck, N'Yuck, N-Yuck!!!


6 posted on 09/29/2005 8:34:03 PM PDT by Alas Babylon!
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To: NormsRevenge
*yawn* Let me know when they start making tools...
7 posted on 09/29/2005 8:35:35 PM PDT by DocRock (Osama said, "We love death, the U.S. loves life, that is the main difference between us.")
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To: NormsRevenge

8 posted on 09/29/2005 8:39:45 PM PDT by msnimje (Hurricane KATRINA - An Example of Nature's Enforcement of Eminent Domain)
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To: NormsRevenge

But the real test is can they punch a ballot so there are no hanging chads!

Even the Democrats have proven themselves so dam dumb that they cannot be allowed to play with sharp instruments to punch chads. They now have to use touch screens and still can't do it right!


9 posted on 09/29/2005 8:41:06 PM PDT by Ruy Dias de Bivar (ISLAM. The religion of the criminally insane.)
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To: Rabid Dog

Steve would be fascinated.


10 posted on 09/29/2005 8:44:55 PM PDT by Snapping Turtle (Snap on and don't let go!)
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To: NormsRevenge

What will be the next big news? See a gorilla picking it's nose and scratching it's butt? I bet if you give it a can of beer it may even drink it. Would that make it a redneck?


11 posted on 09/29/2005 8:45:52 PM PDT by taxesareforever (Government is running amuck)
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To: NormsRevenge

Clinton used a cigar to check the depth..., oh well; but it's "truly astounding". For a baboon, his skill and intelligence are truly amazing.


12 posted on 09/29/2005 8:52:43 PM PDT by citizencon
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To: NormsRevenge

13 posted on 09/29/2005 8:54:51 PM PDT by BenLurkin (O beautiful for patriot dream - that sees beyond the years)
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To: keithtoo

14 posted on 09/29/2005 8:56:30 PM PDT by BenLurkin (O beautiful for patriot dream - that sees beyond the years)
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To: trubluolyguy

Don't give the Democrats ideas about giving gorillas the right to vote.

Then again we should probably check the voter rolls in California. I wonder how many zoo animals have been voting for Democrats.


15 posted on 09/29/2005 8:56:44 PM PDT by coconutt2000 (NO MORE PEACE FOR OIL!!! DOWN WITH TYRANTS, TERRORISTS, AND TIMIDCRATS!!!! (3-T's For World Peace))
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To: NormsRevenge

More jobs that Americans don't want to do.


16 posted on 09/29/2005 8:58:03 PM PDT by Willie Green (Go Pat Go!!!)
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To: NormsRevenge

Hell, this info is 20+ years old. To the apes? Much much older.


17 posted on 09/29/2005 8:58:46 PM PDT by jwh_Denver (A liberal is a communist in the oven.)
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To: NormsRevenge

18 posted on 09/29/2005 8:59:28 PM PDT by Cinnamon Girl (OMGIIHIHOIIC ping list)
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To: NormsRevenge

19 posted on 09/29/2005 9:02:24 PM PDT by stylin19a
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To: NormsRevenge
HA! This ought to be the death-knell for those creationists who claim that evolution can't be replicated under sicentific conditions. Here we have gorillas using tools, it won't be long now and they will be shaving, putting on a suit and walking into the cities--just like their nearest relatives--ACLU lawyers!
20 posted on 09/29/2005 9:02:38 PM PDT by Auntie Dem (Hey! Hey! Ho! Ho! Terrorist lovers gotta go!)
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To: DocRock
*yawn* Let me know when they start making tools...

Don't get too smug about our own species:


21 posted on 09/29/2005 9:03:23 PM PDT by Ichneumon
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To: NormsRevenge

This is not news...Night I remind you of Windows 95!


22 posted on 09/29/2005 9:03:46 PM PDT by Republic of Texas
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To: keithtoo

How does a Gorilla drive a Bear? (Groucho) Verrry Carefully! RIM SHOOOOTTT!!!


23 posted on 09/29/2005 9:04:53 PM PDT by Republic of Texas
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To: NormsRevenge

So a gorilla stuck a stick in some water. The chimps beat the gorillas into outer space. Go chimps!


24 posted on 09/29/2005 9:05:55 PM PDT by FlingWingFlyer (We Gave Peace A Chance. It Didn't Work Out. Search keyword: 09-11-01.)
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To: Auntie Dem
Here we have gorillas using tools, it won't be long now and they will be shaving, putting on a suit and walking into the cities--just like their nearest relatives--ACLU lawyers!


25 posted on 09/29/2005 9:07:31 PM PDT by Ichneumon
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To: NormsRevenge
For the first time, biologists have documented gorillas in the wild using simple tools, such as poking a stick in a swampy pool of water to check its depth.

Until now, scientists had seen gorillas using tools only in captivity. Among the great apes, tool use in the wild was thought to be a survival skill reserved for smaller chimpanzees and orangutans.

After seeing apes in a zoo using their tools, I can just imagine what they do with them on the "wild side"! ; 0

26 posted on 09/29/2005 9:09:01 PM PDT by EGPWS
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To: NormsRevenge

27 posted on 09/29/2005 9:09:50 PM PDT by mysterio
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To: NormsRevenge

Is Jane Goodall still living with the chimps?


28 posted on 09/29/2005 9:16:25 PM PDT by celestine phophesy
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To: NormsRevenge

29 posted on 09/29/2005 9:18:22 PM PDT by Boazo (From the mind of BOAZO)
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To: NormsRevenge

Let me know when they can use an orbital sander without leaving patterns in the finish. Then I'll be impressed!

Mark


30 posted on 09/29/2005 9:21:43 PM PDT by MarkL (I didn't get to where I am today by worrying about what I'd feel like tomorrow!)
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Comment #31 Removed by Moderator

To: taxesareforever
"What will be the next big news? See a gorilla picking it's nose and scratching it's butt? I bet if you give it a can of beer it may even drink it. Would that make it a redneck?"

Picking it's nose and eating it.

32 posted on 09/29/2005 9:40:00 PM PDT by Nathan Zachary
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To: SiVisPacemParaBellum

LMAO!!!! Good one!


33 posted on 09/29/2005 9:44:09 PM PDT by Nathan Zachary
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To: Snapping Turtle

I can only imagine how much of our tax dollars went towards facilitating this.


34 posted on 09/29/2005 9:53:25 PM PDT by Rabid Dog
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To: NormsRevenge
She also used the tree trunk as a bridge to cross a muddy patch of ground.

This is all the smarts they would need to get out of any Zoo exhibit I've ever seen.

35 posted on 09/29/2005 9:54:01 PM PDT by KayEyeDoubleDee (const tag& constTagPassedByReference)
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To: NormsRevenge
"Biologists Observe Gorillas Using Tools"

What they didn't realize is that the gorillas observed the biologists using tools.

36 posted on 09/29/2005 10:04:39 PM PDT by TheCrusader ("The frenzy of the Mohammedans has devastated the churches of God" -Pope Urban II, 1097AD)
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To: NormsRevenge

Maybe, someone should ask them the question: "What's a nice gorilla, like you, doing in a place like this?"


37 posted on 09/29/2005 10:05:20 PM PDT by punster
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To: Nathan Zachary

Well Nathan, I guess not all thought it was as funny. ;>(

Hey, if the people at LSU can make fun of their own, who are we to not enjoy a laugh too? Oh well, maybe they should host FreeRep in Oregon with all there new 'free speech' laws and all. LOL!


38 posted on 09/29/2005 10:06:47 PM PDT by SiVisPacemParaBellum (Peace through superior firepower!)
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To: NormsRevenge
The research in the Republic of Congo's rainforests.....

Damn, the jungle has disappeared! Thankfully it was replaced by a rainforest. What is it all of a sudden with this liberal fru fru rainforest stuff?

39 posted on 09/29/2005 10:11:20 PM PDT by Mind-numbed Robot (Not all that needs to be done needs to be done by the government.)
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To: SiVisPacemParaBellum
Dang it, that's just wrong. It wasn't racist or offensive. That a-hole was a discredit to humanity as a whole, not just blacks, not just New Orleanites, not just Americans. He deserves all the mockery he can get along with a hefty jail term. He truly is "one (or in this case several) step backwards on the evolutionary chain. Can we petition mods to unzot?

BTW, here's the link:

http://www.tigerdroppings.com/rant/messagetopic.asp?p=1166195

40 posted on 09/29/2005 10:13:16 PM PDT by Killborn (God bless the rescuers, God bless the Commander in Chief, and God bless America.)
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To: Mind-numbed Robot

The same way "swamps" became "wetlands".

If it fits the environazisocialists' landgrabbing agenda, they'll call a mud puddle a "sanctuary" of some sort.


41 posted on 09/29/2005 10:15:42 PM PDT by Killborn (God bless the rescuers, God bless the Commander in Chief, and God bless America.)
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To: NormsRevenge

Fire_eye observes gorillas using biologists.


42 posted on 09/29/2005 10:16:46 PM PDT by fire_eye (Socialism is the opiate of academia.)
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To: Killborn
Well I saw nothing wrong with it either. They better take every photoshopped pic off of the board so we don't offend anyone around here. You know we have the Dummies checking in on us for God's sake so we've got to toe the PC line...just in case.


43 posted on 09/29/2005 10:21:52 PM PDT by SiVisPacemParaBellum (Peace through superior firepower!)
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To: SiVisPacemParaBellum

That zot was very weird, esp in light of the lax enforcement over profanity. I like swearing as much as the next #%&*@#%^!(heh!) but I don't think full word swears belong on this site.


44 posted on 09/29/2005 11:31:10 PM PDT by Killborn (God bless the rescuers, God bless the Commander in Chief, and God bless America.)
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To: stylin19a
Oh, WOW!! The Nairobi Trio!

Thanks for the memories

45 posted on 09/30/2005 4:33:47 AM PDT by Jimmy Valentine (DemocRATS - when they speak, they lie; when they are silent, they are stealing the American Dream)
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To: NormsRevenge
Biologists Observe Gorillas Using Tools

I see Janet Reno got out of that little red truck.

46 posted on 09/30/2005 4:48:22 AM PDT by beyond the sea (Doctor, my eyes... tell me what is wrong...was I unwise to leave them open for so long)
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To: Republic of Texas

I saw that comin'.


47 posted on 09/30/2005 7:48:05 AM PDT by keithtoo (Howard Dean is a Rove plant, Rove is a NeoCon plant, NeoCons are Trilateralist plants....)
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