Page last updated at 22:59 GMT, Wednesday, 2 September 2009 23:59 UK

Chimps use tool kit to catch ants


Chimpanzees in Congo-Brazzaville use special tool kits to snare aggressive army ants, scientists report.

A team from the Goualougo Triangle Ape Project found that the primates first used woody saplings to pierce open the ants' nests, giving them access to the insects.

But rather than then scooping up the ants with their hands - which would place the chimps at risk of painful bites - the primates instead dipped the stem of a plant into the nest to gather the ants that streamed along the tool.

The research is published in the American Journal of Primatology.

Co-author of the paper David Morgan said: "Chimpanzees in the Goualougo have shown they use a variety of resources as tools to obtain food items such as honey, termites and now ants."

Footage: Goualougo Triangle Ape Project, Nouabale-Ndoki National Park, Congo


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