Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Chimpanzees: A Growing Arsenal Of Tools

Photo from

We are quite familiar with tools that chimpanzees make to make their life easier: stones to break open nuts, sticks to fish out termites, chewed up leaves to soak up water, etc. We can now add another tool to this arsenal; clubs for honey extraction.

Scientists found that wild chimpanzees from the Republic of Congo craft clubs out of branches to break open bee hives to obtain honey. Crickette Sanz of the Max Planck Institute of Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany said that the nutritional returns from honey does not seem to be that significant. "But their excitement when they've succeeded is incredible, you can see how much they are enjoying tasting the honey" she added. Read the article here.

If honey is not a part of chimpanzee's sustenance then why do they even bother spending hours getting at something that doesn't even contribute to their daily nutritional needs? Well, I think it's like us enjoying candies or chocolate bars. They don't really provide us with nutritional needs (unless you count sugar and carbs!) yet we love, and sometimes crave them.

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