Scientists have discovered a new chimpanzee “behavioral realm” in the Bili-Uéré region of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the conservation and environmental science news website Mongabay reports.
A research team led by Thurston C. Hicks of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany and the University of Warsaw in Poland spent 12 years documenting the behaviors exhibited by a population of Eastern chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii) whose range extends across more than 50,000 square kilometres (over 19,300 square miles) of northern DRC.
The paper published this month in the journal Folia Primatologica detailing the team’s findings includes a description of an entirely new chimpanzee tool kit featuring four different kinds of tools: a long ant probe, a short probe, a thin wand, and a digging stick. These tools are used to harvest five different food types, including a variety of driver and ponerine ant species as well as honey from the nests of ground-dwelling and arboreal bees.
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