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Chimps hunt prey with spears, scientists find

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posted on Feb, 22 2007 @ 05:17 PM
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Chimps hunt prey with spears, scientists find


Source Link: www.msnbc.msn.com

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 Thursday.

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.

(visit the link for the full news article)




posted on Feb, 22 2007 @ 05:22 PM
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Sounds like perhaps the book/movie Planet of the Apes may be more fact than fiction. Or could it be that some of the great apes have started on a path of accelerated evolution?

Opens up all kinds of ethical questions, as well. Can we still hunt these creatures? Can we still use them for experiments or keep them in zoos?

I say the answer to those questions is looking more and more like - NO.

Forget the ET's. I think we need to accelerate our attempts to find communication channels to another intelligent species right here on earth.

[edit on 2/22/2007 by centurion1211]



posted on Feb, 22 2007 @ 05:42 PM
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Interesting, but still not that impressive. I've seen some birds do the exact same thing on television. They fashion a "spear" out of a twig and use it to get grubs out of hollow tree branches.



posted on Feb, 23 2007 @ 01:43 PM
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This is being reported on BBC news as well: news.bbc.co.uk...

What scientists seem most fascinated with is the fact that they are not merely using the branches, but modifying them for use. They appear to be stripping them of bark, and in many instances, using their teeth to sharpen them.



In most cases, the Fongoli chimpanzees carried out four or more steps to manufacture spears for hunting.

In all but one of the cases, chimps broke off a living branch to make their tool. They would then trim the side branches and leaves.

In a number of cases, chimps also trimmed the ends of the branch and stripped it of bark. Some chimps also sharpened the tip of the tool with their teeth.


See the above link for the source of the quoted text.

Edited for typos.

[edit on 23-2-2007 by AceWombat04]



posted on Feb, 23 2007 @ 01:51 PM
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And it's also reported that after the chimps use their spears, they smell them and/or taste them for the presence of blood? Their way of checking to see if they got their prey, I guess.

When I told this story to my wife, she wondered if the chimps came up with this behavior on their own, or have they been watching human behavior just a little too closely?



posted on Mar, 12 2007 @ 09:46 PM
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Wow, centurian. For once I am in 100% agreement with you on one of your threads. This is truly amazing as I have never seen direct evidence of animals as tool makers. Evolution is truly a marvelous thing. Great find!



posted on Mar, 12 2007 @ 09:48 PM
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Originally posted by djohnsto77
Interesting, but still not that impressive. I've seen some birds do the exact same thing on television. They fashion a "spear" out of a twig and use it to get grubs out of hollow tree branches.



That isn't the exact same thing - I saw that as well. The birds used the stick to get at the grubs, yes, but the stick wasn't designed for use as such. Animals have mimicked the actions of people and other animals and have appeared to use tools, but this is the first time there is evidence of animals MAKING tools and then using them. This implies a higher comprehension of the environment around them and their role in it. This goes WAY beyond instinct.



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