From elephants using branches as fly swatters to monkeys flossing with human hair, the animal kingdom is constantly surprising us with their unique and incredible abilities.
Tool use was once a skill attributed solely to humans. In fact, it was a defining characteristic that differentiated us from animals, but as you can see from the following feats, we’re not that different after all!
Elephants show a remarkable ability to use tools, especially when it comes using branches to repel flies. If they’re being harassed by flies, rather than accept and endure the annoyance, elephants opt to craft tools from branches to reach those hard to get areas that their trunks just can’t get to.
2. Chimpanzees Use Leaves to Help Them Drink
When chimps are feeling thirsty and they can’t reach the water because it has formed in hollows that are high up inside the tree, instead of giving up and looking for water elsewhere, they get creative. They take a handful of leaves, chew them all up to make them nice and absorbent, then use them as a sponge to collect the water by dipping them into the little pool.
3. Octopuses Use Coconut Shells as Shelter
Studies have shown octopuses have been discovered tip toeing across the sea bed with coconut halves suctioned to their lower bodies as a means of protecting themselves or deceiving any predators that they might cross paths with. This bizarre and incredible behavior has gained the veined octopus a first class ticket into the elite club of tool-using animals, and they are the first member without a backbone.
4. Crows Use Traffic to Crack Walnuts
Crows posses an extraordinary tool using ability, and Caledonian crows in particular have demonstrated astonishing skills when they fancy filling up on their omega 3s. Crows in urban Japan have figured out that if they drop their walnuts in the right spot, that the cars will do the hard work of cracking that tough nut open for them. Perhaps even more fascinating is their ingenious method of doing this nut cracking on pedestrian crossings so they can collect their winnings in safety.
Photo Credit: Tambako the Jaguar
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