Chimp tools, learning, etc. from Cole

John Cole. (jrc@TEI.UMASS.EDU)
Sun, 18 Aug 1996 20:40:40 -0400

CHIMPS DO HUNT & MAKE AND USE TOOLS. REFS Follow! (And they have extensive

A couple of references re: chimp toolmaking, hunting, and so forth:
A current book by Jane Goodall (and earlier books and papers) document chimp
hunting as a surprisingly common activity, not a matter of luck or
abberation--ditto tool-making. Her stuff is widely available.

G. Talecki's *Predatory Behavior of the Chimpanzee* is a detailed and rather
definitive work on the topic which also mentions tool-making. It is less
"popular" than many Goodall refs.

McGrew's *Chimpanzee Material Culture* is a recent definitive work on
tool-making and tool use among chimps. As the title notes, this is NOT a
random speculation these days.

I should note an unintended error in my earlier post about non-human
"learning." While a case could be made for plants "learning," even, TEACHING
is a different story. I used the 2 terms as reciprocals, more or less, while
focussing on the idea of human non-exceptionalism in the realm of "shared,
learned behavior." Laurie Godfrey points out that she and Poverini published
powerful evidence for chimp powers of motive attribution and learning
(capacity as well as actuality), but there is a difference between the act of
intentional teaching via plan and the act of learning and imitating. They
found no chimp TEACHERS in the human sense of that elective act.

Sorry about conflating the two concepts.

My point remains clear, I hope.

--John R. Cole