Quick question about chimps and fire

Cassiopeia
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Quick question about chimps and fire

I read about chimps and aps learning sign language and tools and stuff, but I wonder if they can discover fire and how to make it themselves also.

Please understand I don't know much on the subject so my question may be stupid, but my coriousity needs saturation.

Thanks. 

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Tilberian
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No chiimp has ever been

No chiimp has ever been observed using fire. Also, purposely creating fire would involve several combined skills that are probably beyond the intelligence and manual dexterity of a wild chimp. You MIGHT be able to teach a chimp to start a fire with flint and tinder or something, but I doubt it.

Even our distant ancestors were a lot smarter than chimps. 

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Yellow_Number_Five
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Chimps and other primates

Chimps and other primates have been observed using simple tools, and they are great at learning and imitating behavior; however they have never been seen using fire, let alone making it.

We share a common ancestor with chimps around 7 million years ago. Needless to say, in those years the homo line developed the capacity for certain skills chimps simply do not have.

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Cassiopeia
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Ok, so if a group of chimps

Ok, so if a group of chimps were taught how to make and maintain, and extinguish a fire, would they pass the skill on to future generations?

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Tilberian
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The young chimps would

The young chimps would certainly try to imitate their elders. Whether they could imitate them closely enough to be successful, without actual instruction from someone who actually understands the process, is open to question. 

I really doubt that chimps have the manual dexterity for the task in the first place. 

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Well, I'm not sure a

Well, I'm not sure a behavior as complex as fire making could be passed on - especially considering that most wild animals have an aversion to fire. 

However, in experiments, chimps can learn behaviors and pass them on.

In one experiment I recall, a grape was placed inside a sealed tube. One chimp was taught how to open the tube. Over the course of several days, other chimps were allowed to observe that chimp opening the tube to get a tasty treat.

When faced with the same obstacle, most of the chimps who observed managed to open the tube, though not all did, and some accomplished the task in a different manner than the "educated" chimp.

Chimps who did not have the opportunity to observe the tube being opened could not open the tube.

It suggests that chimps can learn and teach one another and that behaviors can be passed on - or even more so, based upon the variations in the methods used to open the tube that CONCEPTS can be understood and learned and taught.

We see this in the wild. Certain colonies of chimps use twigs to fish for termites or rocks to smash nuts and fruits - others do not, and different colonies have different tools and different methods. Again, this suggests that at some point one innovative chimp had a bright idea (or perhaps even saw another human or animal do the same thing), and the others learned from and passed that behavior on.

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Even primates with smaller

Even primates with smaller brain/bodymass ratios can teach and learn skills and pass them on.  I was reading about one report of Japanese snow monkeys where the researchers saw a young female monkey "discover" by accident how to wash potatoes in water to get the sand off them and make them taste better.  Before long, the whole troop was washing their potatoes, although other troops who had no contact with them still ate sandy potatoes.

Also Tilberian mentioned manual dexterity, which is a really key difference between homonids and apes.  Chimpanzees have to  use their hands to support their weight, so their wrists are comparatively rigid and inflexible compared with humans.  If you've ever seen a gorilla at the zoo fling its poo, you know that they throw with a very stiff-armed motion.  That wrist flexibility is key to making tools, fire, etc.

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