1 Tahrcountry Musings: Chimpanzees that have developed multiple tool kits

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Chimpanzees that have developed multiple tool kits

Chimpanzees in the Congo have developed tool kits to feed on army ants. The finding is the outcome of the research led by Dr Crickette Sanz. Dr Sanz recovered 1,060 tools and collected 25 video recordings of chimpanzees using the tools. Till now there have been no reports of regular use of more than one type of tool. 36% of recovered tools sets contained two types of tools, nest perforating tools and ant-dipping probes.

The new research suggests that chimpanzees are selecting tools depending on the characteristics of the ant species. The researchers think these techniques' ensure sustainable harvesting as the ants will stay in that location allowing the chimpanzees to revisit this renewable source of food. Chimps have been observed re-using tools which have been discarded by other individuals during previous visits.

Details of the research appears in the latest issue of the journal American Journal of Primatology.

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