Through an analysis of African chimps, scientists have found that it's very possible women were the first humans to hunt using tools, according to NewScientist.
So, basically, our lady primate ancestors weren't monkeying around.
Dr. Jill Pruetz, a primatologist at Iowa State University in Ames, has been studying the hunts of chimps in Fongoli, Senegal, since 2007. Her team has found that this particular group of chimps goes beyond the typical chimp behavior of using sharpened sticks to reach termites by also using them to hunt their prey spear-style. Out of 308 of observed hunts, female chimps carried out 61% of these human-like spear-hunting kills---even though they only made up 39% of the hunting parties.
Pruetz argues that this discovery might tell us more about how humans began using tools: If it was female chimps who introduced using tools in this way, the earliest female humans might've had a similar experience.
Travis Pickering, a Biological Anthropologist from University of Wisconsin, has his doubts about whether this particular study is the final word on the origins of tool-use. However, while most research concludes that hunting was generally a male activity in hunter-gatherer species, he notes that females probably came up with the idea FIRST.
"Maybe the initial inventiveness is female-based," Pickering told NewScientist.com. "But I don't think we'll ever be able to pin that down based on archaeological data."
It's nice to know that lady chimps are getting some credit for thinking on their feet, though. You go, lady chimps.
The only thing we can't really get behind here is that it turns out the chimps are skewering cute lil bush babies like this guy:
I mean, look at that face.