Chimpanzees in Ivory Coast create special tools for drinking water by chewing the end of a stick to turn it into a soft, fluid-absorbing brush, scientists have found.
Researchers have used camera traps to film tool-use that is unique to chimpanzees in Ivory Coast.
The footage showed that primates habitually make special water-dipping sticks for drinking.
Using similar brush-tipped sticks to dip into bees' nests for honey was common in chimpanzee populations across Africa, said Juan Lapuente, from the Comoe Chimpanzee Conservation Project in Ivory Coast.
"But the use of brush-tipped sticks to dip for water is completely new and had never been described before," he said.
“These chimps use especially long brush tips that they make specifically for water — much longer than those used for honey," Lapuente told 'BBC News'.
"The longer the brush, the more water they collect," he said.
"This technology allows Comoe chimpanzees to obtain water from extremely narrow and deep tree holes that only they — and no other animal — can exploit, which gives them a superb adaptive advantage to survive in this dry and unpredictable environment," Lapuente said.
The findings are published in the American Journal of Primatology. — PTI