The recent study suggests that the monkeys are female.
It was believed that male is predominant in hunting, but it was found that over 300 tool assisted hunts in the Fongoli, Senegal population revealed that over half of the hunts were by females.
Jill Pruetz, lead author who has broke the news said, “It’s just another example of diversity in chimp behavior that we keep finding the longer we study wild chimps, it is more the exception than the rule that you’ll find some sort of different behavior, even though we’ve studied chimps extensively.”
The chimps used spear lie tools to jolt at bush babies that are hiding in tree cavities, causing them to flee.
Pruetz said, “What would often happen is the male would be in the vicinity of another chimp hunting with a tool, often a female, and the bush baby was able to escape the female and the male grabbed the bush baby as it fled.”
At Fongoli, when a low rank male or a female hunts something they are allowed to keep it and eat, but at other sites this is not the case, the dominant male chimp or alpha male will come and take the prey from the lower rank monkey. So for the female chimp there is little benefit for them to go for hunting as the other chimps will take their prey from them after hunting.
The chimps at Fongoli are the only non-human animals which use tools to hunt their prey. This may be because of the unique tolerance exhibited by the chimps in this site.
The environment may also contribute for the usage of tools, as the conditions at Fongoli are dry; the bush babies hide in the cavities of the tree and this makes this place well suited to use tools.
The findings of the study are published in the Journal Royal Society Open Science.