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Scientists from Zurich: carnivorous chimpanzees will help to better understand the evolution

Evolutionary scientists from the University of Zurich have come to grips with the study of a curious phenomenon. As you know, chimpanzees, one of the smartest monkeys on the planet and, concurrently, our closest relative, prefers plant food, and meat eats very, very rarely. However, facts discovered by scientists can make certain adjustments to these ideas. The fact is that monkeys feeding on freshwater crabs were found in the jungle of Guinea. Chimpanzees learned to detect and extract them from the sandy bottom of shallow rivers. One would assume that the crab diet is a necessary measure in the face of a shortage of more familiar foods. But the facts are a stubborn thing: chimpanzees hunt crabs all year round, even when plant food is abundant. The females especially excelled in this craft: they hunt more intensively and are ready to spend more time on it. Scientists attribute this to the presence of crab meat fatty acids, which are necessary for the female body, especially during the feeding period.

It is known that our distant ancestors started eating crocodiles, turtles, crabs and other aquatic animals about 2 million years ago. However, what were the motives of such a radical change of nutrition – this remains to be seen. Perhaps the study of the behavior of chimp-crabeaters will shed light on this evolutionary riddle.


Igor Konchakovsky

Photo source: pixabay.com

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