Saturday, February 24, 2007

Britney Spears found in Bush's pants!!

Uh... no. I read too fast the title of the link Sagemarm sent to me:

Spears are latest discovery in chimps' toolbox.

And Sagemarm points out a hilarious quote: (my bold)

The study reports that the chimps used a multi-step method for making their spears — breaking them off trees, stripping leaves, trimming both ends and sharpening tips with their teeth. The researchers saw the chimps jab the spears forcefully into tree cavities holding the monkeys.

Only infants and female chimps used the spears, Pruetz says. In one case a mother was seen jabbing at a tree hole while holding an infant. Just one of the 22 observed attempts resulted in the chimps killing a monkey.

"Another blow against 'Man, the hunter'," says archaeologist Stanley Ambrose of the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. The study supports other findings that females are the chief tool-users among chimps, he says, and may add to arguments about such a division among early humans.

Hunting described in the study resembles the known chimp practice of "termite fishing," in which chimps plunge sticks into insect mounds to "fish" out the inhabitants for dinner, says anthropologist John Shea of Stony Brook (N.Y.) University. "This is just a rather long extension of that behavior, not true projectile use of spears," he says.

The earliest archaeological evidence for human use of thrown spears dates to roughly half a million years ago, says Shea. He doubts chimp anatomy would ever allow them to throw spears. Even if female chimpanzees used these probes more than males, he says that it does not follow that female early humans used analogous implements more than their male counterparts, he says.

"Chimpanzees are analogs for, not examples of, early hominins (humans)," he adds, cautioning about applying the results too broadly, in particular in considering the role of savannas in human origins.

So you guys who are threatened by the idea of females hunting can relax.


Bryan said...

Here's the obvious interpretation of what is going on - the larger and stronger male chimps don't need tools to catch prey, but the younger females do. Necessity is the mother of invention.

The females need tools to make up for the lack of size and strength, that's why they make them. If the male chimps shared, there wouldn't be a need.

Conclusions: the female chimps are using their brains to overcome limitations, and the male chimps are selfish jerks who would probably vote Republan.

ellroon said...

Lol! Oh thank you, Bryan! Your last sentence is priceless!