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HOME » Behaviors of chimpanzees in Bossou» Algae-scooping


In the summer of 1995, a new type of tool using behavior was observed, performed by individual chimpanzees of the Bossou community (Matsuzawa et al, 1996). The chimpanzees were observed using a wand to scoop floating algae (Spirogyra sp.) off the surface of ponds, a behavior which was later defined as algae scooping. At the vicinity of the ponds, large amounts of stalky and fern vegetation are usually available. The chimpanzee selects a stalk which it broke off with its teeth. It is then fashion a fishing "rod" devoid of leaves. The tool is then inserted into the water and a scooping action of the wrist usually follows to fish out the surface algae. The stick is then brought up to the mouth and the algae eaten.