Completely off topic
Feb 22, 2007

But how can I not post about this? Chimpanzees in Senegal have been observed making and hunting with spears. That's just ...amazing. A whole new level in non-human technology. I've heard of chimpanzees using sticks as probes to get termites out of mounds, and as clubs in attacking other chimps, but this is much more. They're not just picking up some object and using it, they're actually shaping their own tools, making the intuitive leap from using an object to creating an object (in this case by sharpening a tree branch with their teeth) for a specific purpose (spearing a bush-baby to pull it out of a hollow cavity). This is a purposeful manipulation of their environment to suit their own ends. I wish we had some sort of idea of how long they've been doing this. If it's just a recent phenomenon then we've basically just witnessed the rise of a new tool making species. Just ...amazing.
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