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Chimps Make Spears and Hunt Bushbabies

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posted on Feb, 22 2007 @ 04:19 PM

Chimpanzees are capable of making spears to hunt other primates and have been seen using the weapons to apparently kill bushbabies for meat, scientists announced today.

The researchers based their findings on observations of omnivorous chimps that dwell in savannahs similar to those from which humanity's ancestors are thought to have emerged.

"It is not adult males, but young chimpanzees, including adolescent females, who are exhibiting this behavior," Jill Pruetz, a primatologist at Iowa State University, told LiveScience.

"This has important implications for how we think about the evolution of tool use in our own species," Pruetz added.
"We have tended to emphasize the role of adult males in hunting, and this research supports the assertion that we should not ignore females and other individuals."

The scientists investigated the Fongoli community of savannah-dwelling chimpanzees in southeastern Senegal.
The researchers saw 10 different chimps fashioning spear-like tools to forcibly jab at nocturnal primates known as lesser bushbabies, which sleep inside hollow branches or tree trunks during the day.
After their attacks, the chimps sniffed or licked their weapons, as if to see whether or not they shed blood.

Previously, researchers had spotted one chimpanzee using tools to flush out mammalian prey, specifically employing a branch to rouse a squirrel.
However, Pruetz and her colleague, Cambridge biological anthropologist Paco Bertolani, saw something far more complex.
The chimps routinely broke off branches, trimmed them of twigs, leaves and bark and sharpened the tips of their spears with their teeth.


This is a very interesting and important finding.

Not only does it show us that we need to rethink the whole dominance
of the strong male being the hunter in our own eolutionary past, but
also that we are not as special as had previously thought.

Perhaps chimps are the next species to evolve in a way similiar to us.
Imagine, hindreds of thousands or a few million years form now chimps
evolving to fill the gap that humanity may have left, or to fill a niche in
the Terran sphere.

On a side note, I think that cimps will be one of the first species to
be 'uplifted' (to borrow a phrase from scifi) to true civilization level

Comments, Opinions?

posted on Feb, 22 2007 @ 04:25 PM
hmm....seems like a new arguement people will use to disprove the Bible

aside from that, this is an amazing find. great stuff. Do they have footage of this? How popular is it (just this one group or most chimps?)

they could become the next dominant species on the planet in the future. Next big thing would have to be a spoken language or walking upright more often.


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