Chimpanzees use wood and stone tools to chop food

Last Updated: Friday, December 25, 2009 - 23:41

London: In a discovery that further
affirms the fact that chimpanzees are very much like humans,
British researchers have found the primates in the jungles of
Africa using tools to chop up food into bite-sized pieces.

Kathelijne Koops and William McGrew of the Leverhulme
Centre for Human Evolutionary Studies, University of
Cambridge, UK, during a monthly survey of chimps in the Nimba
mountain forests of Guinea observed that the animals used
cleavers -- of both stone and wood -- and stone anvils to
reduce Treculia fruits into smaller portions.

Treculia fruit is a hard, fibrous volleyball-sized
fruit which can weigh up to 8.5 kg.

"The apes are not simply cracking into the Treculia to
get to otherwise unobtainable food. Instead, they are actively
chopping up the food into more manageable portions," said
Koops.

"It`s the first time wild chimpanzees have been found
to use two distinct types of percussive technology, i.e.
movable cleavers versus a non-movable anvil, to achieve the
same goal," she told the BBC.

Surprisingly, neighbouring chimps living in the nearby
region of Seringbara do not process their food in this way,
reinforcing how tool-use among apes is culturally learnt.

The research is focused on use of elementary
technology, such as the use of tools while foraging, by
chimps. The observations of the behaviour are published in the
journal Primates.

PTI



First Published: Friday, December 25, 2009 - 23:41

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