Hunting by Savanna - Living Chimpanzees
Chimpanzees living at the Fongoli, Senegal site are the only nonhuman apes thus far that routinely hunt vertebrate prey with tools, with more than 500 cases now recorded. These chimpanzees hunt the Senegal Galago with tools, systematically making "spears" to stab at and rouse these nocturnal primates from their sleeping cavities during the day. I review research on these apes’ hunting behavior collected over the course of more than 10 years (2006-2017) and focus on their tool-assisted hunting in particular. I also contrast male and female hunting behavior. While male chimpanzees hear hunt monkeys similarly to the way these apes hunt at other sites, tool-assisted hunting is exhibited more frequently by female chimpanzees at Fongoli. Chimpanzees in this hot, dry and open environment appear to rely on tool use during foraging to successfully combat the pressures they face in the savanna-woodland mosaic of southeastern Senegal, the northernmost extent of the species’ range. However, the behavior of their main prey species, the Senegal Galago, seems to influence this particular aspect of their hunting behavior, and I discuss new research focused on this hypothesis.