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A tribe of herbivorous ape-like early humans is foraging for food in the African desert. A leopard kills one member, and another tribe of man-apes drives them from their water hole. Defeated, they sleep overnight in a small exposed rock crater,and awake to find a black monolith has appeared in front of them. They approach it shrieking and jumping, and eventually touch it cautiously. Soon after, one of the apes (Daniel Richter) realizes how to use a bone as both a tool and a weapon, which the apes then use to kill prey for food. The next morning, they reclaim control of the water hole from the other tribe by killing its leader. Triumphant, the ape leader throws his weapon-tool into the air, switching via match cut from a bone to an orbital satellite millions of years in the future.