Saturday, February 24, 2007

Saturday Morning Nature Blogging

Chimps observed making spears:
Chimpanzees living on the West African savanna have been observed fashioning spears from sticks and using them to hunt small mammals — the first routine production of deadly weapons observed in animals other than humans.

The chimps were repeatedly seen using their hands and teeth to tear the side branches off long straight sticks and peeling back the bark and sharpening one end of the sticks with their teeth, the researchers report in Thursday's online issue of the journal Current Biology. Then, grasping the weapon in a "power grip," they jabbed into tree-branch hollows where bush babies — small monkey-like mammals — sleep during the day.

Hunting chimps may change view of human evolution:
Chimpanzees have been seen using spears to hunt bush babies, U.S. researchers said Thursday in a study that demonstrates a whole new level of tool use and planning by our closest living relatives.

Perhaps even more intriguing, it was only the females who fashioned and used the wooden spears, Jill Pruetz and Paco Bertolani of Iowa State University reported.

(NOTE: Fox News attempts to promote fear of course!)
Killer Chimps Make Spears, Hunt Bushbabies:
After their attacks, the chimps sniffed or licked their weapons, as if to see whether or not they shed blood.

"I was flabbergasted," Pruetz said.


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