Stone tool production and utilization by bonobo-chimpanzees (Pan paniscus)

Itai Roffman, Sue Savage-Rumbaugh, Elizabeth Rubert-Pugh, Avraham Ronen, Eviatar Nevo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Using direct percussion, language-competent bonobo-chimpanzees Kanzi and Pan-Banisha produced a significantly wider variety of flint tool types than hitherto reported, and used them task-specifically to break wooden logs or to dig underground for food retrieval. For log breaking, small flakes were rotated drill-like or used as scrapers, whereas thick cortical flakes were used as axes or wedges, leaving consistent wear patterns along the glued slits, the weakest areas of the log. For digging underground, a variety of modified stone tools, as well as unmodified flint nodules, were used as shovels. Such tool production and utilization competencies reported here in Pan indicate that present-day Pan exhibits Homo-like technological competencies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14500-14503
Number of pages4
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number36
StatePublished - 4 Sep 2012


  • Bonobo survival strategy
  • Bonobo targeted tool use
  • Food acquisition
  • Hominin
  • Stone tool wear pattern

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


Dive into the research topics of 'Stone tool production and utilization by bonobo-chimpanzees (Pan paniscus)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this