Short Science: Wild Chimps Learn Tool Use from Each Other

ChimpThey might not be building IKEA bookshelves anytime soon, but wild chimps have been observed learning to use tools in the wild, something which had only been seen in captivity. According to The Verge:

Under a tree in Uganda’s Budongo forest in 2013, Catherine Hobaiter first mentioned the strange chimp behaviors she’d seen two years before. Hobaiter, a chimpanzee researcher at the University of St. Andrews in the UK, told fellow primatologist Thibaud Gruber that she had witnessed a group of chimps using a mix of moss and leaves to soak up drinking water from a watering hole in the forest….

…Chimpanzees are widely considered the most “cultural” of all non-human animals, Gruber says. Their ability to use tools is well-known, and their capacity to transmit those behaviors socially has garnered a lot of attention in recent years. Until now, though, observations of chimps learning to use tools from each other had only taken place in captivity — a setting that, necessarily, doesn’t resemble the wild….

For more, see The Verge.

Video of chimps using their mix of moss and leaves.

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