The classics of Marxism-Leninism argued that one of the most important differences between man and animals is his use of tools. Many still believe that the stick turned the ape into a man. And completely wrong...

How animals use tools

The classics of Marxism-Leninism argued that one of the most important differences between man and animals is his use of tools. And although this doctrine is no longer taught in our institutes, the thesis that the stick turned the ape into a man is still accepted by many on faith. And absolutely in vain.

Tools of labor, besides humans, are also used by animals. For example, chimpanzees pick out termites from a termite nest with a stick, sea otters (sea otters) break a sea urchin with a stone, putting it on their chest, and Galapagos finches pull a tasty larva from under the bark with a long cactus thorn or a thin twig.

Interesting fact

Galapagos finches are small birds 10–20 cm long that inhabit the Galapagos Islands and Cocos Island (the largest uninhabited island in the Pacific Ocean). This variety of finches plays the role of a woodpecker that is absent from the islands. But since, unlike the woodpecker, the finch does not have a long tongue that would help to get to the larvae living in the trees, he had to “brain out” and come up with such a peculiar way of hunting.

How animals use tools

Galapagos finch |

But an even more impressive example is with a black crow (lives in the Far East). She learned how to break tough Manchurian nuts with... a car. Yoshiaki Nihei from the Department of Psychology at Tohoku University (Japan) told the world about crow tricks. Picking up the fruit under a tree on a city street, the crow rose to about the height of the fourth floor and dropped it onto the asphalt. But the nut didn't break. Then the bird, grabbing it with its beak, flew up to the crossroads, walked a little along the road and put it under the wheel of a car that had braked at a red light. When the car drove by, the nut cracked, which was exactly what the tailed smart girl needed.

Russian zoologist, doctor of biological sciences K.N. Nesis writes about the research of the Japanese scientist:

"E. Nihei watched the crow tricks for almost 2 years, saw dozens of similar cases. He accurately recorded all the circumstances, including even whether there were other birds nearby and how long the crow waited to pick up the split nut. The conclusion is unequivocal: birds crack nuts with cars deliberately and purposefully just when the nut is either too hard or has not yet fallen out of the soft shell, which the birds do not want to peck because of its bitter taste.

Most often, crows plant nuts under cars on two intersecting streets lined with walnut trees. And in most cases, they throw nuts right under the wheels of cars stopped at an intersection at a red light. They pick up the crumbs when some cars have already passed on the green (for nuts), while others have not yet approached...".

How animals use tools

Eastern black crow |

At present, scientists have established that the ability to use "improvised means" is characteristic of about 15 species of birds. Let's take a few more examples.

Recently, scientists have found that even such primitive creatures as invertebrates can use tools. The literature describes an interesting observation made by zoologists in Costa Rica. Near the termite mound, they saw how a predatory bug disguised itself with the material from which the anthill is made. After that, he patiently waited at one of the exits for the appearance of a working termite. In the end, the unsuspecting ant "was captured" and ended his days.

At one time, many world publications published a photograph of an African vulture eagle breaking a thick shell of an ostrich egg with a stone (unlike a vulture pricking an ostrich egg while standing on the ground). But the Australian forelocked kite acts differently: it picks up a stone, rises with it into the air and from there throws it on the emu's eggs.

How animals use tools

Chubat kite |

These examples show that the difference between man and animals still lies not in the ability to use tools, but in the deeper features of the human psyche and mental states.

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