Wild chimpanzees outsmart human hunters Chimps in Guinea have learned to deactivate hunters' snares, and they have begun teaching the skill to their offspring.
It's not quite "Planet of the Apes" smart, but it's impressive nonetheless. Five male chimpanzees living in the forests of Guinea have begun foiling human hunters by seeking out and deactivating their snares, according to Discovery News.
Even more impressive, there is evidence that the animals are teaching younger chimps how to dismantle the snares, too. This means that the ability is more than just the cleverness of a few individuals — it's actually being culturally transmitted.
Cultural transmission is a significant advancement because it shows that the animals can learn without trial and error, which is crucial since mistakes in dealing with snares could be fatal.
"Some time in the past, an individual that had been ensnared might have started this behavior," explained Gaku Ohashi, co-author of the study that recorded the chimp behavior. "Young chimpanzees acquired this technique without any injuries." Read the rest on Mother Nature Network.