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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 10:00 AM
Original message
Biologists Observe Gorillas Using Tools
Biologists Observe Gorillas Using Tools

By JOSEPH B. VERRENGIA
AP Science Writer
Published September 30, 2005, 1:36 AM CDT


For the first time, biologists have documented gorillas in the wild using simple tools, such as poking a stick in a swampy pool of water to check its depth.

Until now, scientists had seen gorillas use tools only in captivity. Among the great apes, tool use in the wild was thought to be a survival skill reserved for smaller chimpanzees and orangutans.

The research in the Republic of Congo's rainforests was led by Thomas Breuer of the Wildlife Conservation Society at the Bronx Zoo, which released details of his study. Breuer is in Africa and was not immediately available for an interview.

"This is a truly astounding discovery," he said in a statement. "Tool usage in wild apes provides us with valuable insights into the evolution of our own species and the abilities of other species."
(snip)

Details of the findings are being published in the online journal PLoS (Public Library of Science) Biology. Video of the gorillas will be broadcast Saturday on the PBS program "Wild Chronicles."
(snip/...)

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/sns-ap-g...
(Free registration required)
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htuttle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 10:13 AM
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1. Lot's of animals, from hermit crabs to primates, *use* improvised tools
But only humans *make* tools, AFAIK.



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KurtNYC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 10:16 AM
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2. Didn't Jane Goodall observe this in the wild?
I know I have seen footage of apes sticking long blades of grass into an ant hole to get the ants. Might not have been Goodall.
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 12:09 PM
Response to Reply #2
10. She's mentioned in the registration only article.....
Fairly or not, gorillas have been considered less capable than other great apes, in part because they have not been as extensively studied.

Chimps, for example, have been continuously observed in the field for 40 years since Jane Goodall launched her landmark study at Gombe Stream in Tanzania. They have become stars of television documentaries and glossy magazine articles, displaying their extensive of use of rocks to break open hard-shelled nuts and sticks to "fish" termites from mounds.

In contrast, gorillas are much larger, stronger and slower.

"Chimps are portrayed as the super-ape and gorillas are the big brutes in the forest," said Richard Carroll, a primate expert and director of the Africa program at the World Wildlife Fund in Washington, D.C. He has conducted gorilla field studies since 1980. He did not contribute to Breuer's report.

"Gorillas are very intelligent, but they don't have to be as delicate as chimps -- they can just smash open the termite nest," said Carroll, who a decade ago reported observing gorillas using sticks to ward off attacking leopards.
(snip/...)
You're right!
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VWolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 10:23 AM
Response to Original message
3. Are they referring to the photo of Cheney walking with a cane?
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leveymg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 10:30 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. Or, Bush falling off a bicycle?
Thank Gawd they won't let him pilot planes anymore.
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smirkymonkey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 11:00 AM
Response to Reply #4
9. Touche to posts #3 & #4!
Edited on Fri Sep-30-05 11:00 AM by smirkymonkey
Very funny! :evilgrin:
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movie_girl99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 10:33 AM
Response to Reply #3
7. LOL..that was funny!!! n/t
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Dr. Death Donating Member (639 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 10:32 AM
Response to Original message
5. Here's a photo:
Edited on Fri Sep-30-05 10:32 AM by Dr. Death


Edit: apologies to gorillas.

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BringEmOn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 10:32 AM
Response to Original message
6. Power tools, too....
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Dr. Death Donating Member (639 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 10:33 AM
Response to Reply #6
8. Haha, I was trying to find that one
but came up with the one above instead.

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