10/21/2005

CNN.com - Nut-cracking gorilla surprises scientists - Oct 18, 2005

No, not Fitzgerald squeezing Rove's nuts! ;-)

-- law


GOMA, Congo (AP) -- An infant gorilla in a Congo sanctuary is smashing palm nuts between two rocks to extract oil, surprising and intriguing scientists who say they have much to learn about what gorillas can do -- and about what that says about evolution.

It had been thought that the premeditated use of stones and sticks to accomplish a task like cracking nuts was restricted to humans and the smaller, more agile chimpanzees.

Then, in late September, keepers at a Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International sanctuary in this eastern Congo city saw 2 1/2-year-old female gorilla Itebero smashing palm nuts between rocks in the "hammer and anvil" technique, considered among the most complex tool use behaviors.

CNN.com - Nut-cracking gorilla surprises scientists - Oct 18, 2005

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