Chimpanzees Use Botanical Skills to Discover Fruit

Fruit-eating animals are known to use their spatial memory to relocate fruit, yet, it is unclear how they manage to find fruit in the first place. Researchers of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, have now investigated which strategies chimpanzees in the Taï National Park in Côte d'Ivoire, West Africa, use in order to find fruit in the rain forest.

The result: Chimpanzees know that trees of certain species produce fruit simultaneously and use this botanical knowledge during their daily search for fruits.

The researchers conclude that chimpanzees know that trees of certain species produce fruit simultaneously and use this information during their daily search for fruit. They base their expectations of finding fruit on a combination of botanical knowledge founded on the success rates of fruit discovery and an ability to categorize fruits into distinct species. "Our results provide new insights into the variety of food-finding strategies employed by our close relatives, the chimpanzees, and may well elucidate the evolutionary origins of categorization abilities and abstract thinking in humans," says Christophe Boesch, director of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology's Department of Primatology.
Source: Science Daily

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