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Bears Now Using Tools

Well, humanity had a good run, but now it’s over. This bear was recently spotted using a rock as a tool, the first time we’ve seen such behavior. It’s only a matter of time before bears with rayguns show up.

While we’ve spotted quite a bit of evidence of tool use – broadly defined as consciously manipulating an object to accomplish a given task – in birds and fish, we’ve seen surprisingly little evidence of tool use in mammals outside the primates. Now, in a discovery sure to confirm all of Stephen Colbert’s worst fears about these godless killing machines, a young brown bear in southeastern Alaska was spotted using this rock as a tool. Writing in Animal Cognition, University of Cumbria researcher Volker B. Deecke argues it’s simply an extension of bears’ natural exfoliation habits:. . .

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