Chimpanzees Use Long Branches To Fish Algae In The Rivers

First Posted: Nov 15, 2016 04:30 AM EST

One of the cleverest animals in the jungle out there are the chimpanzees as they fish out algae in the river using long branches or twigs as their fishing rods. These chimpanzees are from Bakoun, Guinea.

Mail Online reports that the researchers saw the chimpanzees fishing in the river in Bakoun, Guinea, using the long branches or twigs. They do not catch fish but rather scoop up algae and then they eat these.

The findings of the behavior of the creatures were published in the American Journal of Primatology. The study was led by researchers from the Bakoun Classified Forest in Guinea. They noticed long branches near the banks of the rivers and set up 11 camera traps to know what was there. They discovered that the local chimpanzees were the ones using the long branches to catch algae from the riverbeds.

Surprisingly, the algae are nutritious and belong to the genus called Spirogyra. These types of algae are eaten by people in Northern Thailand and are called "tao." The algae contain 16.7 percent protein, antioxidants and 55.7 percent carbohydrates. It is considered a great source of nutrients. This is probably why the wise chimpanzees are after these algae, according to IFL Science.

Ammie Kalan of the Max Plank Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology said that the tool-use appears quite different from what is known from a nearby long-term chimpanzee site in Bossou, Guinea, and different from previous reports of rare algae scooping in Congo.

Kalan further said that all age and sex classes of Bakoun chimpanzees were seen in the camera trap videos to successfully fish for algae in a river, stream or pond using woody branches or twigs as fishing rods. She added that the tools were on average longer and sturdier than the algae fishing tools that are known from Bossou and some Bakoun tools were over 4 meters long. 

See Now: NASA's Juno Spacecraft's Rendezvous With Jupiter's Mammoth Cyclone

©2017 All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission. The window to the world of science news.

Join the Conversation

Real Time Analytics