Did women invent weapons?

Posted on Sunday, Feb 25 2007 @ 00:05 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
According to a new study not men but women may have invented weapons.
Chimps have been known to use tools before, to crack nuts for instance, but this use of spear-like weapons to attack other animals is completely new. Anthropologists from Iowa State University observed the apes at a site in Senegal. They say the chimps gnaw at sticks to sharpen them, then thrust them into tree hollows to hunt out small nocturnal mammals called bushbabies. One of the scientists who observed this, Jill Pruetz, says the innovative apes were predominantly females or the very young. I asked her why.

JILL PRUETZ: "When I saw the behaviour the most, that was during a time when the chimps ranged around as one cohesive group. I think it was a response by immatures and females to competition within the group. So they can't outcompete adult males in terms of resources, so I think this is just an innovative way of solving a problem in terms of food availability."

About the Author

Thomas De Maesschalck

Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.

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