Animal Tools By Gin Wellborn

Whack! A monkey slams a rock down on his nut. He is using this rock as a tool to open his nut so that he can eat it. In 1960, Jane Goodall lived with chimpanzees. One day, she found a chimpanzee sticking a piece of grass inside a termite mound. She did the same. When she pulled the grass out, she found termites on it. It was amazing! The chimpanzee was using the piece of grass to “fish” for termites. Animals use a lot of tools such as rock tools, grass tools, and twig tools.

Firstly, some animals use rock tools. The first animal that I am going to tell you about is the Capuchin monkey. The Capuchin monkey uses a rock to open his nut. Here’s how he does it. The Capuchin monkey puts a nut on a log. He then finds a big rock. Then he smashes the rock against the nut. Some it takes the Capuchin monkey several tries to open the nut. But finally, it opens.

A capuchin monkey opening his nut with a rock.

The Galapagos woodpecker finch also uses tools. A Galapagos woodpecker finch turns a cactus spine into a spear. The Galapagos woodpecker finch takes off a cactus spine and holds it in his beak. Then, it pecks a hole in a tree. Then it sticks the cactus spine in and out comes a bug.

A Galapagos woodpecker finch taking off a cactus spine.

Otters also use tools for food. The otter dives down deep in the ocean looking for a clam, and a rock. Once it’s back up at the surface, it lays on the water and floats. Then it puts the clam on it’s stomach. Once that’s done, the otter slams the rock against the clam. The otter continues until the clam breaks open.

An otter slamming an urchin on a rock.

Octopuses use tools to. They live down deep in the ocean. But these aren’t any ordinary octopuses. These are armor making octopuses! Octopuses have many many Many predators. So, they use shells to make armor! They do this by attaching shells to their bodies to make the toughest armor under the sea.

An octopus with shells on his back as armor.

Animals also use grass tools. Chimpanzees use grass tools. They take little pieces of grass out of the earth. Once they’ve done that, they search for a termite mound. Then they stick the piece of grass into the termite mound. It takes the piece of grass out after a little while. When it does, it finds lots of termites.

Chimpanzees sticking pieces of grass inside a termite mound.

Orangutans use leaves. They can use leaves to make whistles! Orangutans discovered and used them way before humans did. Who knew that whistles could be made out of leaves!

An orangutan using a whistle.

Lastly, some animals use twig tools. The striated heron uses twigs, insects and berries! They use different fishing tools than us when they go fishing. Humans use bait, and a fishing pole. But the striated heron uses ALL of these things as bait. Then, when a fish is close, splash! The heron plunges into the water to catch it.

A striated heron putting out his bait so that he can catch a fish.

The last animal that I am going to talk about is elephants. If elephants find water and they want to save it for later, they just get a branch and chew it and chomp it until it’s in a shape that kind of looks like a ball. Also, if the elephant has a really bad itch that it can not get to, it takes a stick in it’s trunk and rubs the stick against the itch and voila! The itch is gone.

An elephant scratching his back with a stick.

It’s fascinating that animals use tools in so many ways such as twigs, leaves, and rocks. Maybe one day you will find an animal using a tool. Have fun!

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