The Chimp Stone Age Is Happening Right Now

The Chimp Stone Age Is Happening Right Now

The repeated use of stone tools from generation to generation means that certain chimpanzees have entered their Stone Age, according to researchers. What's more, chimp families in west Africa may have been using the tools for more than 4,000 years. An archaeological excavation in the region found stone tools that look as though they were used by chimps 4,300 years ago, which means that the chimp Stone Age could pre-date the arrival of human farming villages in the same region. Other great apes have indeed been observed using tools, but never stone ones (one possible explanation for this is that stones aren't as readily available in their environments).

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Key Facts In This Video

  • 1

    Chimps are careful about selecting which stones to use to crack open nuts. (0:22)

  • 2

    Young chimpanzees often observe and mimic adults as they crack open nuts with rocks. (0:59)

  • 3

    Like humans, chimps are either right- or left-handed. (2:30)

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