Friday, February 23

Evolution Happening Before Our Eyes

I was going to put this in Today's Strange News, but I think it is a little too important for that. Chimpanzees in Africa have been observed making and using spears to hunt prey.

(WaPo) Using their hands and teeth, the chimpanzees were repeatedly seen tearing the side branches off long, straight sticks, peeling back the bark and sharpening one end, the researchers report in Thursday's online issue of the journal Current Biology. Then, grasping the weapon in a "power grip," they jabbed into tree-branch hollows where bush babies — small monkeylike mammals — sleep during the day.

After stabbing their prey repeatedly, they removed the injured or dead animal and ate it, the researchers reported in yesterday's online issue of the journal Current Biology.
The use of sticks by Chimps isn't a new phenomenon according to scientists, it's the fact that they are now using them to hunt that is creating the interest.
The new observations are "stunning," said Craig Stanford, a primatologist and professor of anthropology at the University of Southern California. "Really fashioning a weapon to get food — I'd say that's a first for any non-human animal."
Oh shit, there goes the planet!