New Record of Fishing for Termites (Macrotermes) by the Chimpanzees of Bossou (Pan troglodytes verus), Guinea
Habitual use of tools by wild chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) has been reported of the eastern, central-western and far western geographical races, and is known to occur in habitats ranging from savanna to evergreen forest (1). Of the many kinds of tool-making and tool-using behaviours of chimpanzees, termite-fishing is one of the most · widely distributed behaviours. At Bossou, Guinea, . West Africa; chimpanzees (P. t. verus) have so far only once been observed to use tools to exploit unidentnied arboreal termites (2). They jammed twigs into tree holes, squashing the insects on the toofs tip, from which the apes licked them off. The Bossou chimpanzees were always thought to ignore termites of the genus Macrotermes, whose terrestrial mounds are abundant in their home range. During a study period extending over ,three months (August-October 1997) during the midrainy season, an adult female and her male offspring from the Bossou community were observed fishing for Macrotermes termites with tools. This is . the first record of fishing for ground-dwelling termites with tools by Bossou chimpanzees.