The Anthropology Corner

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The Anthropology Corner

This is for those who embrace that complimentary flipside of Dawkins' sociobiology- biological, evolutionist and materialist interpretations of anthropology. Come here to talk about human evolution, primatology, and cultural and biological anthropology.


First Topic: Chimps with spears (


Recently evolved behavior, or just previously unobserved? As female chimps are more avid tool users in the wild, and this ties directly in with their reproductive requirements, shouldn't we have expected that females, particularly mothers, would be the first of the contemporary apes to invent spears? And has this behavior spread to the males, who ritually hunt as a show of group solidarity, spontaneously, even when food resources are plentiful? What do you think?

“It is true that in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. It is equally true that in the land of the blind, the two-eyed man is an enemy of the state, the people, and domestic tranquility… and necessarily so. Someone has to rearrange the furniture.”

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Tool use in other primates

Tool use in other primates is well documented, be it a twig to fish for grubs or termites or a handy hammer like rock to mash nuts and what not.

IMO, the behavior described here is more or less a glorified use of termite fishing tools. The "weapons" are not fashioned in any unique or previously unobserved way, they are simply used in the hunt - and chimps have been observed to use weapons of opportunity in the hunt well prior to this observation.

It is unique in this case that they seemed to arm and plan an attack though, which is quite interesting.

It really is hard to say if this in imitation or natrual, but I honestly fail to see that it matters. It's clear the behavior is possible, and as it seems, engrained into our cousins - it only makes sense as we shared a common ancestor. That other primates can function in such a capacity, imatation or not, says a LOT about our common roots.

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