Coyoty (coyoty) wrote,

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Chimps learn to disable traps and show their kids how.

Chimps in Guinea, Africa have learned not only to avoid wire snare traps set by the local people to catch them, but to disable them so that no one else can get caught in them.  The traps are set throughout Africa by bush meat hunters, and researchers wondered why the area had such a lower rate of trapped chimps.  The answer was found accidentally by primatologists following a band of Guinea chimps to study their social behavior.  They observed male chimps approaching traps, examining them, then disabling and destroying them without touching the dangerous wires.  The chimps also demonstrated to their children how to disable the traps.  The researchers think that casualties from the traps would make learning from trial and error very unlikely, so the chimps must be abstractly figuring out how the traps are made and how to defeat them.

BBC article.

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