AMAZING Animals That Use TOOLS!! From hunting for food to collecting water…stay tuned to number 1 to find out animals you had no idea used tools!
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From hunting for food to collecting water…stay tuned to number 1 to find out animals you
had no idea used tools!
Number 10: Dolphins.
In 2012, an Indian Minster said that Dolphins should be treated as non-human people, and
scientists have long understood how intelligent these creatures really are, so, perhaps it’s
not surprising that they’ve recently been observed using tools.
Well, in Shark Bay, Australia, a scientist was lucky enough to observe how a group of
bottlenose dolphins have learned to carry marine sponges in their beaks to stir ocean-bottom
sand to uncover pray.
This cool technique has made this group more successful at hunting food on the bottom of
Not only that, but it also protects their noises.
Although this is just one group of dolphins, they’re ability to do this is yet another
testament to their intelligence, though it should be pointed out that it seems to be
a relatively new invention.
And what’s to say there’s not other groups of dolphins using other sea-based tools for
In fact, as highlighted in a previous video, some scientists have stated that this group
spend more time hunting with tools that any other non-human animal…but as we’ll see
moment, there is another contender who others think are slightly ahead of dolphins in using
Number 9: Chimpanzees.
These intelligent creatures made headlines last year when footage emerged showing that
the clever primates habitually make special water-dipping sticks – chewing the end of
the stick to turn it into a soft, water-absorbing brush.
These sticks were examined by primate researchers and they concluded they were made specifically
Apparently, using similar brush-tipped sticks to dip into bees’ nests for honey was common
in chimpanzee populations across Africa.
This particular population of chimpanzees has what the researchers call a “drinking
culture”, which they class as a custom shared throughout a group of making these special
water-dipping sticks to help them through the dry season.
But this isn’t the only group of Chimpanzees to be observed using tools.
Decades earlier, in 1960 a chimp was observed using a twig to reach one the chimp’s favorite
He did this by picking up a twig and stripping the leaves off it.
Then he stuck the twig into one of the holes in the termite mound, left it there for a
moment, and slowly pulled it out.
So, he was effectively fishing for termites.
It’s quite clear these intelligent animals have found ways to use tools to overcome difficult
situations, yet, like other species on this list who are at serious risk of extinction
due to human action, they’re tool use won’t save them from habitat loss or bulldozers!
Number 8: Crows.
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Crows have long symbolized death because they are carrion birds, or’birds that feed on dead
However, our view and understanding of the Crow might just change as the result of recent
observations of a group of captive crows.
Ivo Jacobs of Lund University in Sweden and his team were fortunate to observe some interesting
behavior in the crows.
They saw how one crow slipped a wooden stick into a metal nut and flew off with both objects.
Later, they observed another crow insert a thick stick into a hole in a large in a large
wooden ball to move the items of the room.
As well as these examples, they also observed four other instances of the crows’ clever
In fact, the ability to use objects to transport both items at once is something that had never
been seen in non-human animals.
Yet this ingenious feat is not that surprising, as we already knew crows could use tool, but
this particular trick is often seen as a hallmark of complex cognitive abilities suggesting
they might be a little bit more intelligent that we first though.
At the end of the day, this is definitely interesting, but a lot more research needs
to be completed to see whether the birds also use tools this way in the wild.
Number 7: Wrasse.
So, we’ve seen that Dolphins can use tool, and that’s not too surprising given how intelligent
we know they are, but the next example highlights that they aren’t the only marine animal to
In fact, this example is the first-time tool use has been observed in fish species.
This orange dotted tuskfish likes to eat clams.
But how does a fish defeat a clam?
Well, it uses a neat trick to expose one buried in the sand.
The fish grabs the clam in its mouth and, using all its power, smashes it against a
The blows are so precise that, after a short time, the shell breaks apart.
The fish then eats it all up, swallowing the soft flesh and spitting out shattered shell
It just goes to show, fish might just be a bit more intelligent than we give them credit
for…well this fish at least!
Number 6: Orangutans.
In the wild, orangutans use branches, sticks and leaves the way humans use utensils, screwdrivers
and power drills.
Sticks are the main all-purpose tool, wielded by these primates to pry tasty insects out
of trees or for use with certain fruits.
Others have been known to use leaves as a sort of glove..like when their picking prickly
plants…or big leaves as umbrellas in heavy rain.
Some have even suggested that some orangutans have been observed using sticks to measure
the depth of water, but there is a lot of debate around whether this is the right interpretation
for this act.
Nevertheless, they are clearly intelligent, but for all their intelligence and their ability
to use tools, these beautiful creatures can’t possibly defend themselves against humans,
and with recent scientific warnings suggesting that they are at risk of imminent extinction
by the end of the century, we can only hope that enough is achieved that they might survive
in the future.
Number 5: Elephants.
It is no secret that Elephants are some of the most intelligent animals on the planet.
And it’s not surprising when you considering the size of their brain, and the fact that
they pass on information for one generation to the next.
So it’s not that surprising that they’ve been observed using tools for a variety of reasons.
You have some who’ve been observed dropping logs on electric-fences to short circuit them,
or others, like the Asian Elephants, have been observed making fly-swatting branching…even
modifying the branches so that they are the perfect length.
Elephants have a lot of this going for them, but their intelligence has helped them overcome
some difficult situations,
Number 4: Gorillas.
Tool use by gorillas is something scientists have been aware about for some time.
Most observations generally relate to obtaining food, either by cracking nuts with rocks or
using twigs to eat termites, like we’ve seen with other animals on this list.
However, recently tool-savy wold gorillas were caught on camera.
One gorilla was observed using a tool to test the depth of the water before wading in…which
could suggest a similar action might have been the right interpretation for our earlier
entry with the orangutans.
In the same video, another gorilla was caught using a stick to help search for food, and
even possibly as a bridge over a muddy puddle.
Although this is not completely surprising, as tool use in primate is well document, it
is great to catch wild gorillas doing this!
Number 3: Octopus.
We’ve already introduced two marine animals that have been known to use tools, and the
next example is yet another one to add to the list.
The octopus are notorious for their ability to hide behind rocks or slip through the smallest
But groups of octopi, like the coconut octopus, have also been found to use tools.
The coconut octopus, Amphioctopus marginatus, is the first identified species to gather
materials for its shelter with apparent foresight.
While we see this in birds, it is much less known in marine life…especially with octopi.
This two-inch-long Indonesian cephalopod has been observed retrieving discarded coconut
half-shells, swimming with them up to 50 feet away, and then carefully arranging the shells
on the sea floor for later use.
In one video, an octopus was caught quickly jumping in to its coconut shell.
Using the discarded shells in this way allows the soft-bodied creature to hide from predatory
cuttlefish, and divers who get a bit to close.
The coconuts can even be used as a getaway vehicle…the octopuses can roll away from
danger, safe inside the shell.
Number 2: Macaques.
The next entry on this list has been so successful at using their particular tool and method
that they have come close to pushing their prey towards extinction…so it appears humans
aren’t the only primate able to do this…though we obviously do it on a much bigger scale.
Long-tailed macaque forage for shellfish on islands off Thailand, then crack them open
with stone tools.
They target the largest rock oysters, bludgeoning them with stone hammers, and pry open the
shells with the flattened edges of their tools.
It’s great to see more primates using tools for finding food, but by over-harvesting their
prey that are even putting their own technology knowledge at risk.
How will they pass on the skills to harvest the food when there’s no more food to harvest?
Number 1: Sea Otters.
We mentioned earlier in the video about an animal that makes Dolphin tool use look like
child’s play, well it’s these cute creatures.
Recent research has indicated that otters learned how to use tools long before other
A genetic study of more than 100 wild sea otters living off the Californian coast suggests
their ancestors living millions of years ago showed this behavior.
So, what do they do?
Well, sea otters are often seen floating on their backs, using rocks to break open shellfish
In comparison to the Dolphin example we discussed earlier, this is not a recent phenomenon,
and researchers even plan to study fossil remains to get a better understanding of exactly
when they started doing this.
If sea otters’ ancestors held rocks on their chests, then that may explain the depressions
found in the chests of some modern otters.
What’s even more interesting is that otter pups express rudimentary tool behavior in
captivity without any demonstration or training, which could be further evidence for it starting
a long, long time ago.
Tell us what you think about these brilliant creatures in the comments below and…take
This post was previously published on YouTube.