How Chimpanzees Use Tools to Catch Termites (Jane Goodall)

In 1960, Primatologist Jane Goodall began her work with chimpanzees. One of the most famous discoveries that she made involved chimpanzees making tools.

She watched a chimpanzee take the leaves off of a twig. Then the chimp inserted the twig into a hole in a termite mound. When some termites had crawled onto the twig, the chimp pulled the twig out and ate the termites.

Until that time, it was believed that humans were the only tool-making animals on earth. This discovery led to many other revelations in the relationship between humans and primates.

Termites have been a part of human diet for many years. Fossil remains found in Africa show that early humans used bone tools to dig into termite mounds to get termites for food.

Nutrition experts suggest that termites are very nutritious. They say that a 100-gram serving of termites contains more calories than a 100-gram serving of rump steak.

Although termites invade thousands of homes every year, American homeowners do not usually eat them. However, the homeowners do spend millions of dollars to treat the termites and repair the damage that they cause.

Experts suggest that many termite infestations could be less costly if homeowners would have their homes inspected regularly. Termite control professionals are trained to recognize the signs of termite activity.

These experts can prescribe the most effective treatment to treat termites. They can also point out structural and landscaping conditions that should be changed to help keep termites from getting easy access to the home.