Sonso Chimpanzees in Uganda began using a new method to drink water pooled in logs, 'moss-sponging.' Previously known to use balled-up leaves, the chimps began using this new technique with moss, researchers believe, because it is more effective at getting water into their mouths.
But then, the technique spread to a neighboring community of chimps, leading researchers to believe that this is evidence of cultural evolution in chimpanzees, a behavior previously only thought to exist in humans. Researchers published their findings in a study in Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences back in 2018.
This edition of Mongabay Reports is based on the popular article, Tool innovation shows cultural evolution at work among chimpanzees, by Nina Finley.
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Photo Credit: Karibu, a member of the Sonso chimpanzee community in Uganda, uses a moss-sponge she made to sip water from a small rainwater pool. Scientists say the recent emergence and spread of this socially learned behavior is evidence of cultural evolution in chimpanzees. Image by Cat Hobaiter
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