Skip to comments.Chimpanzees 'hunt using spears'
Posted on 02/22/2007 11:16:27 AM PST by Abathar
Chimpanzees in Senegal have been observed making and using wooden spears to hunt other primates, according to a study in the journal Current Biology. Researchers documented 22 cases of chimps fashioning tools to jab at smaller primates sheltering in cavities of hollow branches or tree trunks.
The report's authors, Jill Pruetz and Paco Bertolani, said the finding could have implications for human evolution.
Chimps had not been previously observed hunting other animals with tools.
Pruetz and Bertolani made the discovery at their research site in Fongoli, Senegal, between March 2005 and July 2006.
"There were hints that this behavior might occur, but it was one time at a different site," said Jill Pruetz, assistant professor of anthropology at Iowa State University, US.
"While in Senegal for the spring semester, I saw about 13 different hunting bouts. So it really is habitual."
Chimpanzees were observed jabbing the spears into hollow trunks or branches, over and over again. After the chimp removed the tool, it would commonly smell or lick it.
In the vast majority of cases, the chimps used the tools in the manner of a spear, not as probes. The researchers say they were using enough force to injure an animal that may have been hiding inside.
In one case, Pruetz and Bertolani witnessed a chimpanzee extract a bushbaby with a spear.
In most cases, the Fongoli chimpanzees carried out four or more steps to manufacture spears for hunting.
In all but one of the cases, chimps broke off a living branch to make their tool. They would then trim the side branches and leaves.
In a number of cases, chimps also trimmed the ends of the branch and stripped it of bark. Some chimps also sharpened the tip of the tool with their teeth.
Adult males have long been regarded as the hunters in chimp groups.
But the authors of the paper in Current Biology said females and juveniles were seen exhibiting this behaviour more frequently than adult males.
Cheetah is learning new tricks now...
Wow, they'd overwhelm the French Army.
Well, I for one welcome our new Chimpanzee overlords.
Good point, we need to think of something other than "Cheese Eating Surrender Monkeys" if they keep this up...
"Take your stinking paws off me, you damned dirty ape!"
Our late, great Golden Retriever, Prior Lake Jake, would pick up his leather chew bone and flip the latch on his kennel.
I guess "UNGOWAH!" really meant something...
Maybe they can replace The Brits in Iraq.
Chimpanzees hunting with Spears?
Man, her rehab has really gone downhill.
Global warming is accelerating the evolutionary dynamic in some species.
Uh be careful there, Jesse Jackson may be out trying to get reparations for those critters from the oppressive chimp majority.
If they bite the ears off the primates , I can point out a close relative in the fight game.
I believe Spain may have already granted chimps voting rights:
Spain's Socialist Party Wants to Give Apes Rights
The Socialist Party is trying to pass a parliamentary initiative that includes simians in the category of "people" and, thereby, grant them legal and moral protection. Under the measure, apes would be put on a par with handicapped people.
Spain's Prime Minister, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, defended the initiative as the "next logical step in the evolution of Spanish socialism." "The boundary between man and ape is an arbitrary one," said Zapatero. "Many in the human race share a large number of traits with the apes. Where should we draw the line? Why should we draw a line?"
Zapatero said he is confident that granting voting rights to apes is feasible. "Apes have the manual dexterity to mark ballots," said Zapatero. "There is no physical barrier to their participation in selecting who will govern Spain."
The conservative Popular Party's opposition to the legislation was dismissed as partisan. "The conservatives know that this newly empowered under-privileged segment of our society is likely to vote Socialist," said Zapatero. "Their opposition is driven by pure partisanship. We, on the other hand, are merely trying to extend the blessings of democracy to a wider constituency. We socialists believe apes need to have a voice. We are ready to listen to that voice."
Zapatero said the extension of rights to apes may not be the last expansion of the franchise. "Researchers recently announced that starlings can apparently recognize the grammatical concept of adding sounds to produce a more complex song" said Zapatero. "Adding sounds to produce a more complex song has been my path to political success."
Zapatero agreed that the logistics of casting a ballot would be more complex for birds than apes, but says he is optimistic this difficulty can be overcome.
That would irritate them on so many more levels!
Bears will frequently use a stick like a spoon to dig honey from a bee hive.
After the chimp removed the tool, it would commonly smell or lick it.
MUST NOT COMMENT
It reads like satire, but on the other hand, it IS Spain.
I'm going to come down on the side of PLAUSIBLE.
They will next, run for the presidency on the democRAT ticket. Smart animals.
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