Researchers studying chimpanzees have found that the animals construct and make use of a number of different tools, not just for procuring food but also for other tasks as well, including satisfying their curiosity by prodding a camera that was kept to record the video footage of the animals.
"This study is part of a big ongoing research project. The next stages will involve looking at social opportunities to learn: how much time do youngsters spend within arm's length of other individuals; how much time do they spend close to their mother; as well as innate predispositions to explore and engage with objects," said Koops.
A video clip from the Kalinzu Forest in Uganda, where Koops is currently conducting comparative studies on East African chimpanzees, captures a male chimpanzee seemingly looking on enviously at a female who has managed to construct a much better dipping tool than his own and is feasting heartily as a consequence (VIDEO 2). Koops suggests this kind of observing of other individuals may lead to learning within a chimpanzee community.
"By studying our closest living relatives we gain a window into the evolutionary past which allows us to shed light on the origins of human technology and material culture,'' added Koops.A link to the paper can be found here: onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1002/(ISSN)1098-2345/earlyview