Chimpanzees use wood and stone tools to chop food



Chimpanzees use wood and stone tools to chop food 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