Chimpanzees like seafood too! & # 39; World First & # 39; images of mother and child chimpanzees catching crabs in the wild reveal a human-like trait that experts claim have helped develop the brains of our ancestors
- Research teams from the University of Kyoto in Japan are behind the latest findings
- They observed chimpanzees in the rainforest of the Nimba Mountains in West Africa
- The findings suggest that early people may also have been foraging for food
- Experts say that their nutrients may have helped our higher reasoning powers
Fascinating images show that chimpanzees catch crabs in the wild, behavior that according to experts has caused the development of the brain that led to modern humans.
Experts say the clip is the first time that chimpanzees catch and consume freshwater crabs.
The primates with fruit and anteaters seem to have learned to put their hands in the water to catch and eat aquatic life.
Nutrients that they have provided may have accidentally supplemented their diet with essential ingredients for brain development, the researchers say.
A team from Kyoto University observed fishing all year round, mainly among female and child chimpanzees in the rainforest of the Nimba Mountains in West Africa.
Observations from our closest genetic relatives, chimpanzees, have revealed the first evidence of wild chimpanzees that usually catch and consume freshwater crabs (photo)
"The aquatic fauna that our ancestors consumed probably provided essential long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids that are necessary for optimal brain growth and function," said the lead author. Kathelijne Koops.
Dr. Koops, from the primacy of the University of Kyoto and from the science program for natural sciences, said this was important for brain expansion during human evolution.
& # 39; Furthermore, our findings suggest that aquatic fauna has been a regular part of the eating habits of hominids and not just seasonal food, & # 39; she added.
WHAT DOES A DEEP OF CHIMP TELL US ABOUT OUR EARLY ANCESTORS?
According to the study, nutrients that life in the water provides may be present accidentally supplemented their diet with essential ingredients for brain development.
The team mainly saw females and baby chimpanzees catching and eating the crabs, while males are the least likely & # 39; were to eat the shellfish – instead, they were in favor of ants.
The team believes this is because the protein and salts were important for women – especially if they are pregnant or breastfeeding – and for growing young ones.
The aquatic fauna that our ancient ancestors consumed probably offered essential long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids required for optimal brain growth and function and ultimately leading to human evolution.
The study began in 2012 when the researchers first observed that chimpanzees were fishing for crabs.
They documented the demography and behavior of these chimpanzees for two years, while also analyzing the nutritional value of the crabs and comparing them to other foods in the chimpanzee diet.
Experts found that crabs did not only occur throughout the year – regardless of the season or the availability of fruit – but chimpanzees preferred shellfish to eat ants, another food.
They discovered that adult males were least likely to consume aquatic fauna and were more likely to eat ants.
A research team at the University of Kyoto in Japan observed freshwater crab fishing behavior throughout the year among chimpanzees living in the rainforest of the Nimba Mountains in West Africa (photo)
& # 39; Energy and sodium levels in large crabs are similar to ants & # 39 ;, Dr. Koops added.
& # 39; This led us to the hypothesis that crabs can be an important source of protein and salts for women all year round – especially if they are pregnant or breastfeeding – and for breeding juveniles. & # 39;
The study sheds further light on our own evolution, by showing that fishing behavior cannot be limited by habitat as was initially assumed.
& # 39; This is not the first case of non-human primates eating crabs & # 39 ;, said senior co-author Tetsuro Matsuzawa.
& # 39; But it is the first evidence of monkeys other than people who do that. & # 39;
Remarkably, earlier observations came from monkey species in locations that correspond to faunavory in the water – lakes, rivers or coastlines – and not in closed rainforests.
& # 39; It is exciting to see such behavior that allows us to improve our understanding of what prompted our ancestors to diversify their diet. & # 39;
The full findings of the study are published in the Journal of Human Evolution.
WHICH ARE SMARTER: CHIMPS OR CHILDREN?
Most children exceed the intelligence levels of chimpanzees before they are four years old.
A study conducted by Australian researchers in June 2017 tested children for foresight, said to distinguish humans from animals.
In the experiment, researchers dropped a grape through the top of a vertical plastic Y tube.
They then followed the reactions of a child and a chimpanzee on their attempts to grab the grape on the other side before it hit the ground.
Because there were two possible ways the grape could leave the pipe, the researchers looked at the strategies that the children and chimpanzees used to predict where the grape would go.
The monkeys and the two-year-old covered only a single hole with their hands when tested.
But at the age of four, the children had developed to a level where they knew how to predict the outcome.
They covered the holes with both hands and caught what fell through each time.
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