Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Bonobo Females Handy With Tools

From Wired:

"A new study of tool use in bonobos suggests females of this great ape species are handier than males.

That’s also been seen in chimpanzees, but it was thought that chimps could be an aberration. Instead, the new study hints suggests that female-driven technological innovation could be the norm in humanity’s closest cousins.

'We think that there is this difference in the Pan genus: Females are better tool users than males' said primatologist Thibaud Gruber of Scotland’s University of St. Andrews.

The researchers followed their observations with a study of 20 captive bonobos at the Lola ya Bonobo sanctuary in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Once again, they found extensive tool use. But that wasn’t all. 'We found out that bonobo females were much more keen on using different tools for the same task than males,' said Gruber."

Despite these findings, the researchers also observed that female bonobos earned only 70 bananas for every 100 the males earned.

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