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Friday, February 23, 2007

 

Chimps Observed Making Their Own Weapons

‘Chimpanzees living in the West African savannah have been observed fashioning deadly spears from sticks and using the hand-crafted tools to hunt small mammals — the first routine production of deadly weapons ever observed in animals other than humans.

The multi-step spear-making practice, documented by researchers in Senegal who spent years gaining the chimpanzees’ trust, adds credence to the idea that human forebears fashioned similar tools millions of years ago.

The landmark observation also supports the long-debated proposition that females — the main makers and users of spears among the Senegalese chimps — tend to be the innovators and creative problem solvers in primate culture.’




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