Tool use and tool making in wild chimpanzees

Folia Primatol (Basel). 1990;54(1-2):86-99. doi: 10.1159/000156428.


Reported incidences of tool use and tool making for three wild chimpanzee populations increase from Mahale (12 and 3 types of use and making, respectively), Gombe (16 and 3) to Taï (19 and 6). Sticks are commonly used and prepared at all three sites. However, Taï chimpanzees seem to perform more modifications on the material before using it. They are also the only chimpanzees seen to pound objects with tools and to combine two different tool uses to get access to one food item. Tool making is the rule for abundant material (grass, twigs), but appears to be rarer for scarce, hard material (clubs, stones). Factors involved in the acquisition and the benefit of tool use are discussed along with factors affecting the frequency and complexity of tool making in chimpanzees.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Wild / psychology*
  • Ants
  • Bees
  • Behavior, Animal*
  • Bone Marrow
  • Brain
  • Cote d'Ivoire
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Female
  • Male
  • Nuts
  • Orbit
  • Pan troglodytes / psychology*