Chimpanzee Facts: How Species’ Female Spear-Hunters Are Changing What We Know About Animal Behavior

April 16, 2015 4:35 PM

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Chimpanzee Facts: How Species’ Female Spear-Hunters Are Changing What We Know About Animal Behavior

Female chimpanzees are making their male counterparts look a little less like the top dogs of their species. Over the past several years, primatologists have documented female chimps native to the Fongoli region of Senegal exhibiting a behavior commonly associated with their male counterparts: hunting and skewering small nocturnal primates called bush babies by using tools. The practice makes chimps the only animals other than humans to use tools as weapons for hunting relatively large prey, according to U.S. researchers from Iowa State University, whose work was published Wednesday in the journal Royal Society Open Science.

While both male and female chimpanzees were seen using tools to kill their prey, tool use was more common among the females -- males typically hunted their meals by hand. "It's just another example of diversity in chimp behavior that we keep finding the longer we study wild chimps," Jill Pruetz, an ...

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