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October 24 2012

The Great Chimp Tech Boom


Chimpanzee innovations may be low tech by human standards, but they get the job done and are gradually improving and spreading, a new study co-authored by famed primatologist Jane Goodall suggests.

The study, published in the latest issue of Current Anthropology, presents the first documented case of successful transmission of a novel cultural behavior -- ant fishing -- between wild chimpanzee communities.

"Ant fishing in this case is using twigs, leaf midribs or grass probes to extract carpenter ants from their nests in living trees or dead wood," lead author Robert O'Malley, an assistant professor of anthropology at Kenyon College, told Discovery News.

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