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Published on Feb 13, 2007
Researchers have found evidence that chimpanzees from West Africa were cracking nuts with stone tools before the advent of agriculture, thousands of years ago. The result suggests chimpanzees developed this behaviour on their own, or even that stone tool use was a trait inherited from our common ancestor. Julio Mercader, Christophe Boesch and colleagues found the stones at the Noulo site in Côte d'Ivoire, the only known prehistoric chimpanzee settlement.
Mercader, Julio, Huw Barton, Jason Gillespie, Jack Harris, Steven Kuhn, Robert Tyler, and Christophe Boesch 4300-year-old chimpanzee sites and the origins of percussive stone technology. PNAS, February 2007