It’s the year of the monkey, and primates have been on a roll lately. Whether it’s daring daylight catapult escapes or stealing buses, primates have been doing heretofore undocumented things. And not all of those things are badass heists. Some of them are surprisingly evolved behaviors, like Campbell’s monkeys developing their own language and syntax with complete sentences, or this bonobo starting a fire and roasting marshmallows, or the Rwandan gorillas who learned how to recognize and destroy snares to protect younger gorillas, or the first chimpanzees to be documented using tools to hunt other vertebrates.
Speaking of chimpanzees using tools, now researchers have observed — for the first time — chimps consistently using branches to fish for algae. The observations were made by The Pan-African Programme with motion-activated cameras set up in Guinea.
In the video you can view at Quartz, the chimps are seen using different lengths of branches — some as long as 14 feet — to fish edible algae out of waterways. And there are hundreds of hours of more footage where this came from. The researchers are now asking people to help them sort through, identify, and tag nature footage from Africa at their site, Chimp & See. We know of at least one fellow who’s eager to help: