Saturday, 23 May 2015

Chimpanzees choose the best tool for the job

chimp tool
A chimp carrying a rock.
I was most interested to see the paper When to choose which tool: multidimensional and conditional selection of nut-cracking hammers in wild chimpanzees by Giulia Sirianni, Roger Mundry, and Christophe Boesch which clearly demonstrates that chimpanzees and make some quite sophisticated decisions when choosing stones to use as hammers to crack open nuts.
  • Tool selection by wild chimpanzees was analysed, controlling for tool availability.
  • Chimpanzees select nut-cracking tools according to multiple physical properties.
  • Selection for weight depends on other tools' properties and on contextual variables.
  • Such a sophisticated selection implies quantitatively complex cognitive skills.
  • Adjustment of selection to forthcoming transport suggests planning of future actions.
Thanks to EvoAnth for the link.

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