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First records of tool-set use for ant-dipping by Eastern chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii) in the Kalinzu Forest Reserve, Uganda
Chie Hashimoto, Mina Isaji, Kathelijne Koops, Takeshi Furuichi
Chimpanzees at numerous study sites are known to prey on army ants by using a single wand to dip into the ant nest or column. However, in Goualougo (Republic of Congo) in Central Africa, chimpanzees use a different technique, use of a woody sapling to perforate the ant nest, then use of a herb stem as dipping tool to harvest the army ants. Use of a tool set has also been found in Guinea, West Africa: at Seringbara in the Nimba Mountains and at nearby Bossou. There are, however, no reports for chimpanzees in East Africa. We observed use of such a tool set in Kalinzu, Uganda, for the first time by Eastern chimpanzees. This behavior was observed among one group of chimpanzees at Kalinzu (S-group) but not among the adjacent group (M-group) with partly overlapping ranging areas despite the fact that the latter group has been under intensive observation since 1997. In Uganda, ant-dipping has not been observed in the northern three sites (Budongo, Semliki, and Kibale) but has been observed or seems to occur in the southern sites (Kalinzu and Bwindi), which suggests that ant-dipping was invented by and spread from the southern region after the northern and southern forest blocks became separated. Use of a tool-set by only one group at Kalinzu further suggests that this behavior was recently invented and has not yet spread to the other group via migrating females.
2015/08/24 Primate Research Institute