Who knew that chimpanzees could use improvised fishing poles?
The fact that chimpanzees use tools is well documented. However, we’ve just learned that some populations actually use long sticks as fishing poles to supplement their diets.
A group of scientists studying chimpanzees in Guinea’s Bakun Forest noticed a number of long sticks on the banks of rivers. Curious as to how the sticks got there, they set up a number of trail cameras to see what was going on. Well, the results of the study were incredible, and they discovered that the primates actually use the sticks to fish algae out of the water.
The algae in question is highly nutritious and only available at certain times of the year. In this forest, the algae is found only at the bottom of rivers, which makes it more difficult to obtain. That’s where the sticks come in. Using long sticks (some nearly 14 feet), the chimpanzees are able to retrieve algae from the bottom of rivers and streams.
According to Ammie Kalan, one of the authors of the study:
All age and sex classes of Bakoun chimpanzees were seen in the camera trap videos to successfully fish for algae in a river, stream or pond using woody branches or twigs as fishing rods.
Check out the video to see exactly how the chimpanzees use the sticks to harvest their food.
Pretty cool, huh?
Maybe the scientists should leave a couple of Ugly Sticks, a Yeti Cooler, and a couple cases of beer in the jungle near the river and see what happens then…
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