Early Invention
How life begins ...
5. Spears
Spear manufacture and use is also practiced by the Pan troglodytes verus subspecies of the Common Chimpanzee. This is the only known example of animals besides humans crafting and using deadly weapons. Chimpanzees near KÚdougou, Senegal were observed to create spears by breaking straight limbs off of trees, stripping them of their bark and side branches, and sharpening one end with their teeth. They then used the weapons to hunt galagos sleeping in hollows. Archeological evidence documents that wooden spears were used for hunting 400,000 years ago. However, wood does not preserve well. Craig Stanford, a primatologist and professor of anthropology at the University of Southern California, has suggested that the discovery of spear use by chimpanzees probably means that early humans used wooden spears as well, perhaps five million years ago. By 250,000 years ago wooden spears were made with fire-hardened points. From 280,000 years ago humans began to make complex stone blades, which were used as spear points. By 50,000 years ago there was a revolution in human culture, leading to more complex hunting techniques.
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