Female Chimps Seen Making, Wielding Spears

The chimps spent time making the deadliest, most effective spears. Spear in hand, the chimps would sneak up on bushbabies — small, big-eyed primates — and stab them to death. Bushbabies, which are nocturnal and are also called “galagos,” spend much of their days snoozing in tree cavities. They can become an easy filling meal for a spear-wielding chimp.

The Fongoli chimps are the only known non-human primates that systematically hunt large prey with weapons, so the site itself is of interest to the researchers. It is a savanna with a dry season that lasts over seven months. Early humans might have faced comparable conditions that led to greater reliance on meat consumption and efficient hunting methods.

Discovery News: Female Chimps Seen Making, Wielding Spears

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