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Aping the Stone Age

Chimp chasers join artifact extractors to probe the roots of stone tools

By
12:14pm, November 6, 2009

For chimpanzees living in a forest surrounding the village of Bossou in Guinea, cracking nuts is a serious task with important steps. They are: First, lug large rocks to a spot near a nut-bearing tree, such as an oil palm. Next, gather the nuts and place them on the rocks. Then, obtain a smaller, graspable rock. Finally, smash the armored treats and let the shells fly. As clutches of apes pound away with devastating precision, these nut bashers create an unholy din akin to a human rock band.

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