According to an article at Scientific American, researchers are claiming to have discovered evidence of prehistoric tool use amongst chimpanzees. Archaeologists working at sites in Ivory Coast have dated stones which appear to have been used to crack open nuts, around 4000 years ago and because of their large size argue that they are more likely the work of chimpanzee intelligence, rather than humans (who generally made smaller tools). An extract:
The antiquity of the stones means that chimpanzees have been cracking nuts since long before human farmers reached the region—one explanation for the ability of modern chimps to use hammer stones and anvils to open food. This is no easy feat; modern chimps undergo a seven-year apprenticeship to master the technique. But it turns out this training may be age-old. Mercader, for one, believes that the use of such stone tools may be a technology traceable to a shared ancestor of chimps and humans. "I'd like to see if there is any evidence of stone pieces that could resemble these kinds of technologies at early hominid sites," he says. "But in order to find those, you have to be open to the possibility."
That we are not the only ape that uses technology is apparent from watching modern chimpanzees, but neanderthals and other early human species, showed similar tool construction and use. What is really interesting is that chimpanzee technology has not developed much at all, during the last 4000 years. Whereas our own species has achieved some amazing feats (including putting a chimpanzee into space). Isn't the universe weird?Go Top