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Extractive Foraging in an Extreme Environment: Tool and Proto-tool Use by Chimpanzees at Fongoli, Senegal

Extractive Foraging in an Extreme Environment: Tool and Proto-tool Use by Chimpanzees at Fongoli, Senegal

Chapter:
(p.391) 17 Extractive Foraging in an Extreme Environment: Tool and Proto-tool Use by Chimpanzees at Fongoli, Senegal
Source:
Chimpanzees in Context
Author(s):
Jill D. PruetzStephanie L. BogartStacy Lindshield
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226728032.003.0017

Fongoli chimpanzees appear to rely on tool use to successfully combat the pressures they face in the savanna-woodland mosaic of southeastern Senegal. This chapter provides information on these apes’ extractive foraging behavior collected between 2006-2016. While the Fongoli tool kit varies less than that of some forest-living communities, tool behavior is frequent and could be instrumental for their survival in this harsh environment. This chapter focuses on tool and proto-tool use involving two top foods (Macrotermes termites and baobab fruit [Adansonia digitata]), as well as the unique tool-assisted hunting behavior on Galago senegalensis. The opportunity and necessity hypotheses are both examined to explain these behaviors. Based on phenological data, scarcity of ripe fruit at Fongoli does not explain tool-assisted hunting or termite-fishing behavior, thus providing stronger support for the opportunity hypothesis. Tool-assisted hunting behavior is concentrated in the early rainy season and termite fishing predominantly occurs in the late dry and early wet seasons when fruit availability is high. Finally, Fongoli chimpanzees use proto-tools, stone or wood anvils, to crack open baobab fruits when seasonally abundant, which lends support to the necessity hypothesis. These findings are compared to data from forest-dwelling chimpanzees to provide further perspective on chimpanzee behavioral ecology.

Keywords:   savanna chimpanzees, tool use, proto-tool, extractive foraging, opportunity hypothesis, necessity hypotheses, tool-assisted hunting, termite fishing, baobab cracking

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