Researchers establish a wide range of chimpanzee stone instruments for cracking completely different nut species

Researchers identify a variety of chimpanzee stone tools for cracking different nut species

Female chimpanzee cracking Panda oleosa nuts utilizing a granodiorite hammerstone on a picket (panda tree root) anvil. Credit: © Liran Samuni, Taï Chimpanzee Project

During fieldwork geared toward documenting the stone instrument use of a gaggle of untamed chimpanzees within the Taï Forest in Cote d’Ivoire in early 2022, the researchers recognized and 3D-scanned a wide range of stone instruments used to crack completely different nut species. Their examine is now revealed in Royal Society Open Science.

It has lengthy been proven that numerous chimpanzee teams possess completely different instrument use cultures involving picket and stone tools; nevertheless, just some teams in West Africa use stone instruments to crack open nuts. By evaluating the 3D fashions of various stone instruments utilized by chimpanzees within the Taï Forest to these from one other group in Guinea, the researchers confirmed that there exist notable variations between the 2 teams by way of their materials tradition.

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The examine exhibits that this specific group of chimpanzees in Guinea makes use of stone hammers various in the kind of stone and sizes, and really massive stone anvils, generally higher than one meter in size. These sturdy stone instruments are widespread throughout the panorama; they protect completely different ranges of harm associated to their use and signify a long-lasting document of chimpanzee behaviors.

Stone instruments used for nut cracking can differ between chimpanzee teams

This examine highlights the truth that though a number of teams of chimpanzees follow nut cracking, the instruments they use can differ considerably from each other, probably resulting in group-specific materials signatures. These variations are pushed by a mix of stone alternative, stone availability, and the nut species eaten.

Chimpanzee stone tool diversity
Examples of chimpanzee hammerstones from Djouroutou, Cote d’Ivoire; illustrating their textured floor, three-dimensional floor, floor depth and floor gradient. Credit: © Tomos Proffitt

Previous analysis has proven that through the use of stone instruments, some teams of chimpanzees develop their very own archaeological document courting to at the least 4,300 years in the past. “The ability to identify regional differences in stone tool material culture in primates opens up a range of possibilities for future primate archaeological studies,” says Tomos Proffitt from the Max Planck Institute of Evolutionary Anthropology, who led the analysis.

It has been hypothesized {that a} easy know-how, like nut cracking, was a precursor to extra complicated stone applied sciences through the early levels of our personal evolution greater than three million years in the past. Proffitt continues, “By understanding what this simple stone tool technology looks like, and how it varies between groups, we can start to understand how to better identify this signature in the earliest hominin .”

Chimpanzees have not entered the stone age

More info:
Identifying useful and regional variations in chimpanzee stone instrument know-how, Royal Society Open Science (2022). DOI: 10.1098/rsos.220826.

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Max Planck Society

Researchers establish a wide range of chimpanzee stone instruments for cracking completely different nut species (2022, September 20)
retrieved 20 September 2022

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