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Since the 1960s scientists have known that chimpanzees are able to make and use tools—behavior once thought to be an exclusively human trait.

Now National Geographic-funded researcher Jill Pruetz has observed toolmaking behavior that further blurs the line between the apes and humans: chimps in Senegal sharpening sticks into crude spears and thrusting them into tree hollows, presumably to hunt small mammals.

Jill Pruetz’s work with chimpanzees will be featured in an upcoming NOVA/National Geographic special on PBS (airdate to be determined). National Geographic News is part of the National Geographic Society.


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