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NOVA ScienceNOW

Tool-Using Animals

  • By Rachel VanCott
  • Posted 08.05.10
  • NOVA scienceNOW

In 1960, British primatologist Jane Goodall observed wild chimpanzees "fishing" for termites with sticks. Just like that, humanity's reputation as the sole tool-using animal was shaken. Since then, scientists have recognized a number of tool-users in the animal kingdom. In this slide show, see some of the clever ways certain creatures make use of tools.

Launch Interactive

Meet some of the creative tool-users in the animal kingdom.

Credits

Images:

(chimpanzees)
© Stan Osolinski/Photolibrary
(archer fish)
© BIOS/Photolibrary
(sea otter)
© David Courtenay/Photolibrary
(woodpecker finch)
© Mary Plage/Photolibrary
(octopus)
Reprinted from Current Biology Vol 19, Issue 23, Julian K. Finn, et. al. "Defensive Tool Use in a Coconut-Carrying Octopus," 2009, with Permission from Elsevier.
(elephant)
© John Lambert/TIPS/Photolibrary
(striated heron)
© Thierry Montford/Photolibrary
(dolphin)
from Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Vol. 102, No. 25, pg 8939-8943. "Cultural Transmission of Tool Use in Bottlenose Dolphins" 2005. Image taken by Michael Krützen
(human tools)
© flyfloor/iStockphoto

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