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Top 10 Animals That Use Tools

eastern gorilla
Endangered eastern gorilla in the beauty of african jungle. Image by Photocech via Depositphotos

Did you know that animals also make use of tools to make their lives easier? When we think of tool use, humans often come to mind. However, many species have impressive creativity and are innovative when using tools. Join us as we give the top 10 animals that use tools.

#1. Chimpanzees

Chimpanzee
Alpha male chimpanzee at Kibale forest National Park. Image via Giles Laurent, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Chimpanzees would be seen as the most famous non-human tool users! They use sticks to get termites from mounds, leaves to soak up water and stones to crack open nuts.

#2. Dolphins

dolphin
Dolphins are highly social animals. Image by Joe Boyne via Pexels

Bottlenose dolphins, in Shark Bay, Australia, use marine sponges as foraging tools. They cover their snouts with sponges to protect themselves from sharp objects and stings while they search for food on the ocean floor.

#3. Crows

crow
Crow. Image via Deposit Photos.

New Caledonian crows have sophisticated tool-making abilities. They craft hooks from twigs and leaves to extract insects from tree bark. These crows even change tools to improve their effectiveness, demonstrating a high level of problem-solving skill.

#4. Elephants

Elephant
Elephant in Tsavo. Image via Byrdyak, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Elephants use a large selection of tools in the wild. They break branches to swat flies, use sticks to scratch themselves and even use leaves as flyswatters. Their trunks and high intelligence make them capable of manipulating objects skilfully.

#5. Octopuses

octopus
Image by OlgaVisavi via Depositphotos

Octopuses are invertebrates whom know how to use tools. Such as the veined octopus that collects coconut shells and assembles them to create shelters on the sea floor. This behavior requires foresight and planning which tells us that they have a high level of cognitive function.

#6. Sea Otters

A Southern Sea Otter (Enhydra lutris nereis) cradles her pup while swimming on her back – Monterey Peninsula, California. Image by gonepaddling via Depositphotos

Sea otters use of rocks to open hard-shelled prey like sea urchins and clams. They float on their backs, place a rock on their chest and then repeatedly smash the prey against the rock to access the nutritious insides.

#7. Orangutans

Female orangutan portrait. Image via depositphotos.

Orangutans use sticks to extract insects from tree bark and leaves as makeshift gloves to handle prickly fruits. Their ability to use tools is enhanced by their highly developed cognitive skills.

#8. Capuchin Monkeys

Image via Depositphotos

Capuchin monkeys tool use tools regularly. They use stones to crack open nuts and other hard-shelled food items. In some areas, capuchins have developed complex tool-using traditions that are passed down through generations!

#9. Gorillas

Silverback Gorilla
Silverback Gorilla Image by trexec via Depositphotos

While less frequently observed using tools than chimpanzees or orangutans, gorillas have also been seen using sticks to gauge the depth of water! They also use them as walking sticks in swampy areas. This shows us their ability to use objects to solve practical problems.

#10. Woodpecker Finches

Woodpecker Finches
Woodpecker Finches. Image by Lucy Haskell via YouTube

From the Galápagos Islands, woodpecker finches use cactus spines or twigs to extract insects from tree bark. This behavior shows how birds, not just mammals, can use tools for their benefit.

Bottom Line

Overall, the use of tools of animals definitely challenges our perception of human uniqueness and highlights the cognitive abilities found in nature. These ten species show us the capacity for innovation and problem-solving in the animal kingdom.

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