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May 29, 2024 29 mins

Many of our primate relatives use tools. How do they use them? And why?And what do these skills mean for understanding tools across the animal kingdom, including for us humans?

In this episode, host Eshe Lewis delves into a conversation with Kirsty Graham, an animal behavior researcher. Kirsty explains how primates such as chimpanzees use tools to forage. Such innovative methods to access food reflect the basic yet profound necessities that drive tool innovation. Contrasting these findings with tool use in Homo sapiens highlights a vast range of purposes tools serve in human life.

Kirsty Graham is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of St Andrews in the U.K. Their research focuses on the gestural communication of wild bonobos. They conducted fieldwork in Indonesia, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Before their Ph.D., they worked as a field assistant at Wamba, Democratic Republic of Congo, for the Max Planck Institute and studied at Quest University Canada, specializing in research at the Caño Palma Biological Station in Costa Rica.

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