World-renowned primatologist Jane Goodall is interested in the new study, as she was the first to document tool use in the wild. Before she and her team determined that wild chimps regularly craft and use tools, it was widely believed that only humans could do such things.
Humans, of course, have taken tool use to a whole other level of complexity, but the essential skills -- ability to manipulate objects to meet the needs of a task and then to share that wisdom with others -- are present in dolphins, wild chimps and other animals.
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Goodall and her colleagues have also studied birds. With researcher Hugo van Lawick, she found that Egyptian vultures use rocks to crack open ostrich eggs.
"I love learning about the discovery of tool use behaviors in other species of animals," she said after reading the new paper. "This latest finding is especially wonderful. With two tool-using corvids (crows), the well-known Galapagos finches, and one vulture in the list of tool using birds, we can now make comparisons with avian and primate tool using. Each of these discoveries shows how much there is still to learn about animal behavior, and it makes me re-think about the evolution of tool use in our own earliest ancestors."
Goodall, however, cautions: "Let this discovery serve to emphasize the importance to conserving these and other animal species so that we can continue to learn ever more about the range of their behavior before they vanish forever in the 6th great wave of extinction. We owe it to future generations."