Author Topic: For First Time, Chimps Seen Making Weapons for Hunting!  (Read 15005 times)

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xylothrill

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For First Time, Chimps Seen Making Weapons for Hunting!
« on: May 22, 2008, 10:10:37 pm »
Chimpanzees living in the West African savannah have been observed fashioning deadly spears from sticks and using the tools to hunt small mammals -- the first routine production of deadly weapons ever observed in animals other than humans.

The multistep spearmaking practice, documented by researchers in Senegal who spent years gaining the chimpanzees' trust, adds credence to the idea that human forebears fashioned similar tools millions of years ago.

The landmark observation also supports the long-debated proposition that females -- the main makers and users of spears among the Senegalese chimps -- tend to be the innovators and creative problem solvers in primate culture.

Using their hands and teeth, the chimpanzees were repeatedly seen tearing the side branches off long, straight sticks, peeling back the bark and sharpening one end. Then, grasping the weapons in a "power grip," they jabbed them into tree-branch hollows where bush babies -- small, monkeylike mammals -- sleep during the day.

In one case, after repeated stabs, a chimpanzee removed the injured or dead animal and ate it, the researchers reported in yesterday's online issue of the journal Current Biology.

"It was really alarming how forceful it was," said lead researcher Jill D. Pruetz of Iowa State University, adding that it reminded her of the murderous shower scene in the Alfred Hitchcock movie "Psycho." "It was kind of scary."

The new observations are "stunning," said Craig Stanford, a primatologist and professor of anthropology at the University of Southern California. "Really fashioning a weapon to get food -- I'd say that's a first for any nonhuman animal."

Scientists have documented tool use among chimpanzees for decades, but the tools have been simple and used to extract food rather than to kill it. Some chimpanzees slide thin sticks or leaf blades into termite mounds, for example, to fish for the crawling morsels. Others crumple leaves and use them as sponges to sop drinking water from tree hollows.

But while a few chimpanzees have been observed throwing rocks -- perhaps with the goal of knocking prey unconscious, but perhaps simply as an expression of excitement -- and a few others have been known to swing simple clubs, only people have been known to craft tools expressly to hunt prey.

Pruetz and Paco Bertolani of the University of Cambridge made the observations near Kedougou in southeastern Senegal. Unlike other chimpanzee sites currently under study, which are forested, this site is mostly open savannah. That environment is very much like the one in which early humans evolved and is different enough from other sites to expect differences in chimpanzee behaviors.

Pruetz recalled the first time she saw a member of the 35-member troop trimming leaves and side branches off a branch it had broken off a tree.

"I just knew right away that she was making a tool," Pruetz said, adding that she suspected -- with some horror -- what it was for. But in that instance she was unable to follow the chimpanzee to see what she did with it. Eventually the researchers documented 22 instances of spearmaking and use, two-thirds of them involving females.

In a typical sequence, the animal first discovered a deep tree hollow suitable for bush babies, which are nocturnal and weigh about half a pound. Then the chimp would break off a branch -- on average about two feet long, but up to twice that length -- trim it, sharpen it with its teeth, and poke it repeatedly into the hollow at a rate of about one or two jabs per second.

After every few jabs, the chimpanzee would sniff or lick the branch's tip, as though testing to see if it had caught anything.

In only one of the 22 observations did a chimp get a bush baby. But that is reasonably efficient, Pruetz said, compared with standard chimpanzee hunting, which involves chasing a monkey or other prey, grabbing it by the tail and slamming its head against the ground.

In the successful bush-baby case, the chimpanzee, after using its sharpened stick, jumped on the hollow branch in the tree until it broke, exposing the limp bush baby, which the chimp then extracted. Whether the animal was dead or alive at that point was unclear, but it did not move or make any sound.

Chimpanzees are believed to offer a window on early human behavior, and many researchers have hoped that the animals -- humans' closest genetic cousins -- might reveal something about the earliest use of wooden tools.

Many suspect that the use of wooden tools far predates the use of stone tools -- remnants of which have been found dating from 2 1/2 million years ago. But because wood does not preserve well, the most ancient wooden spears ever found are only about 400,000 years old, leaving open the question of when such tools first came into use.

The discovery that some chimps today make wooden weapons supports the idea that early humans did too -- perhaps as much as 5 million years ago -- Stanford said.

Adrienne Zihlman, an anthropologist at the University of California at Santa Cruz, said the work supports other evidence that female chimps are more likely than males to use tools, are more proficient at it and are crucial to passing that cultural knowledge to others.

"Females are the teachers," Zihlman said, noting that juvenile chimps in Senegal were repeatedly seen watching their mothers make and hunt with spears.

Females "are efficient and innovative, they are problem solvers, they are curious," Zihlman said. And that makes sense, she added.

"They are pregnant or lactating or carrying a kid for most of their life," she said. "And they're supposed to be running around in the trees chasing prey?"

Frans B.M. de Waal, a primatologist at Emory University, said aggressive tool use is only the latest "uniquely human" behavior to be found to be less than unique.

"Such claims are getting old," he said. "With the present pace of discovery, they last a few decades at most."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/22/AR2007022201007.html

Offline PaleoPhil

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Re: For First Time, Chimps Seen Making Weapons for Hunting!
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2009, 06:53:45 am »
So much for the claims of the infamous Sussman, who argued in Man the Hunted that "early man was not an aggressive killer" and did not develop "a modern, systematic method of hunting until as recently as 60,000 years ago." So Sussman thinks that humans didn't know how to hunt effectively and weren't even aggressive enough to hunt for millions of years, whereas chimps hunt with great relish. LOL Sussman, outsmarted by chimps!
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Offline primavera

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Re: For First Time, Chimps Seen Making Weapons for Hunting!
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2009, 08:03:40 am »
I saw this on PBS recently.  'Tis crazy.  I suppose the chimps are evolving?

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Re: For First Time, Chimps Seen Making Weapons for Hunting!
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2009, 09:49:55 am »
Intelligence seems common.
Some scientists only profess their own ignorance.
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Re: For First Time, Chimps Seen Making Weapons for Hunting!
« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2009, 10:30:54 am »
goodsamaritan is right. It's the scientists' knowledge that's evolving, not the chimps'.

Chimp and Orang-utan hunting and fishing is natural, rather than crazy, and the evidence suggests that their use of hunting and fishing weapons is more than mere mimicry. It only seems strange to us because vegetarian and PC propaganda and arrogant scientists convinced the masses that all nonhuman primates are 100% vegan pacifists who don't know how to use tools (they essentially infantalized chimps). Jane Goodall had to withstand years of ridicule before she convinced many people of the truth.

If you read the articles on the subject you'll see that scientists reported evidence in 2007 of chimps using stones as tools over 4,000 years ago and they think tool use may have PREDATED CHIMPS for Pete's sake! (See http://news.softpedia.com/news/Humans-and-Chimpanzees-Learned-to-Use-Tools-From-a-Common-Ancestor-46941.shtml) Where has this guy Sussman been? His book was obsolete before it was even published in 2005. I couldn't believe anyone was taking it seriously when it came out, because I had read about the tool-using and organized-hunting and warring exploits of chimps long before his book hit the presses.
>"When some one eats an Epi paleo Rx template and follows the rules of circadian biology they get plenty of starches when they are available three out of the four seasons." -Jack Kruse, MD
>"I recommend 20 percent of calories from carbs, depending on the size of the person" -Ron Rosedale, MD (in other words, NOT zero carbs) http://preview.tinyurl.com/6ogtan
>Finding a diet you can tolerate is not the same as fixing what's wrong. -Tim Steele
Beware of problems from chronic Very Low Carb

Offline primavera

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Re: For First Time, Chimps Seen Making Weapons for Hunting!
« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2009, 12:50:34 pm »
I had no idea

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Re: For First Time, Chimps Seen Making Weapons for Hunting!
« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2009, 07:59:25 pm »
I had no idea
FYI: I hope my frustration didn't seem pointed at you--it was aimed at Sussman and his ilk, who seem to adopt a political agenda and then seek out information to confirm it.
>"When some one eats an Epi paleo Rx template and follows the rules of circadian biology they get plenty of starches when they are available three out of the four seasons." -Jack Kruse, MD
>"I recommend 20 percent of calories from carbs, depending on the size of the person" -Ron Rosedale, MD (in other words, NOT zero carbs) http://preview.tinyurl.com/6ogtan
>Finding a diet you can tolerate is not the same as fixing what's wrong. -Tim Steele
Beware of problems from chronic Very Low Carb

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Re: For First Time, Chimps Seen Making Weapons for Hunting!
« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2009, 10:11:50 pm »
FYI: I hope my frustration didn't seem pointed at you--it was aimed at Sussman and his ilk, who seem to adopt a political agenda and then seek out information to confirm it.

I should point out that Sussman is not practicing science if he is guilty of seeking info only to confirm what he wants to believe.

Science proper is exactly what humans (and chimps) were doing when we first started making tools.
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Offline primavera

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Re: For First Time, Chimps Seen Making Weapons for Hunting!
« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2009, 12:05:02 am »
FYI: I hope my frustration didn't seem pointed at you--it was aimed at Sussman and his ilk, who seem to adopt a political agenda and then seek out information to confirm it.

Oh, I'm sure it wasn't.  I just meant it like "Wow, that's new info for me"  I love this forum, I've learned so much new stuff! Makes me wonder more and more at the status of our culture today.  It almost seems like the so called 'experts' are purposely there to make us dumb.  ???

Offline SuperInfinity

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Re: For First Time, Chimps Seen Making Weapons for Hunting!
« Reply #9 on: July 17, 2009, 01:55:44 am »
So much for the claims of the infamous Sussman, who argued in Man the Hunted that "early man was not an aggressive killer" and did not develop "a modern, systematic method of hunting until as recently as 60,000 years ago." So Sussman thinks that humans didn't know how to hunt effectively and weren't even aggressive enough to hunt for millions of years, whereas chimps hunt with great relish. LOL Sussman, outsmarted by chimps!

What are you blithering on about now PaleoPhil?

Everyone knows chimpanzees fish and go hunting. They hunt in bands to catch monkey meat, they do it for fun, not dissimilar from raids in World of Warcraft... 100% serious. They often THROW AWAY!!!!! fine pieces of meat they catch!!!!

It is NEVER a strategy for getting food. The energy expenditure vs energy getback is ludicrously tiny compared to foraging in any types of weather.

I like to hear of chimps etc. hunting and catching meat like this because it means I have the ability to consume fish and meat with not too much damage done to me. Humans aren't developed predators unlike chimps though, so I wouldn't exactly bank on it.

Honestly Paleophil, that was really a trolling and totally ignorant thing to say. The meat chimps eat is still only 1 or 2 percent of their diet!!! Gorilla eat NO meat!!!

Also, I'd be extremely, extremely surprised if this were the first time, in fact I'm positive this is wrong. They've long been known to sharpen sticks etc. to go hunting.

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Re: For First Time, Chimps Seen Making Weapons for Hunting!
« Reply #10 on: July 17, 2009, 01:58:04 am »
SuperInfinity, you have a reading assignment (Dr. Price's book) that you promised to do.  How about doing more reading, and less calling people ignorant?

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Re: For First Time, Chimps Seen Making Weapons for Hunting!
« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2009, 02:26:41 am »
I'm reading What It Means To Be 98% Chimpanzee, it's easy to read (and yet highly interesting and stimulating), so I should be done with it fairly soon. I'll read it then definitely and say what I think.

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Re: For First Time, Chimps Seen Making Weapons for Hunting!
« Reply #12 on: July 17, 2009, 04:17:55 am »
You don't add enough value to this forum to get away with calling people names, calling them ignorant, etc. 

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Re: For First Time, Chimps Seen Making Weapons for Hunting!
« Reply #13 on: July 17, 2009, 06:14:12 am »
Meh, I'm done responding to your harangues for now SuperInfinity. You served my purposes of helping me organize my thoughts and polish up some of my responses to questions and concerns of friends, relatives and constructive people about raw and low carb Paleo. I've watched the health of my nephews and other relatives and friends improve dramatically as a result of the information I provided them. It's the most satisfying accomplishment of my life. Your rantings can't take that away from me.

Thanks for serving as my willing foil. You are welcome to all the fruit and peanuts you want. Just save some wild fish for me, please.  ;D

And if you buy the Vibram shoes, let us know how you like them.
>"When some one eats an Epi paleo Rx template and follows the rules of circadian biology they get plenty of starches when they are available three out of the four seasons." -Jack Kruse, MD
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Re: For First Time, Chimps Seen Making Weapons for Hunting!
« Reply #14 on: July 17, 2009, 06:49:48 am »
Quote
Gorilla eat NO meat!!!

Don't they eat termites?  That's meat.
Don't they eat ants?  That's meat too.
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Re: For First Time, Chimps Seen Making Weapons for Hunting!
« Reply #15 on: July 17, 2009, 08:36:38 am »
Don't they eat termites?  That's meat.
Don't they eat ants?  That's meat too.
Yes they do, goodsamaritan, and insects certainly aren't plants. LOL! ;D The notion that gorillas "eat NO meat" is a misguided one that has been used in vegetarian propaganda for years.

There is increasing recognition of the importance of insects in the gorilla diet. The gorillas who eat them have been observed to do so with intention and regularity. There may even be a medicinal benefit from some of the insects:
Quote
"gorillas select soil-feeding termites high in iron and ash with possible anti-diarrhoeal characteristics. Termite eating in western lowland gorillas might therefore be a high quality alternative for geophagy" --from: "How Insectivorous are Gorillas?" Gorilla Journal 33, December 2006 http://www.berggorilla.org/english/gjournal/texte/33insect.html

As I've said before, no primate on earth eats only plant foods. But there is one grouping of primates that chooses foods exclusively from one side of the plant/animal dichotomy: the four species of tarsier primates which eat only animal prey (see http://www.bohol.ph/article15.html). In other words, the tarsier is an obligate carnivore. So much for the dogma that "Fruit is the food of choice for all primates." :'(

We've already learned that some wild primates suffer tooth decay from eating particularly fruit-heavy diets. It also turns out that plant-heavy gorilla diets are deficient in B12 and other nutrients that are abundant in meats, which may be why gorillas eat their own feces (see http://www.ivu.org/history/early/ancestors.html and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coprophagia#Coprophagia_in_animals). Perhaps that is what vegetarians and near-vegetarians are referring to when they say we should eat more like gorillas. They seem to be full of the stuff.  l)  But I kid the vegheads. As I've said before, they are my greatest allies--they eat s**t and suffer so that I can eat meats and reap the benefits. They sacrifice their health for me! Aw, shucks. Thanks vegheads!  :)

There's a more startling possibility that vegetarians also ignore: scientists have reported the possibility of gorilla cannibalism! Even Dian Fossey [Gorillas in the Mist, pp. 77-78] admits to the possibility:

    "I was chilled at the implications of cannibalism among gorillas, though such behavior has been recorded among free-living chimpanzees.

     …it could not be concluded conclusively that Banjo [an infant gorilla] had been a victim of cannibalism. I still do not discount the possibility.
"

So, since there is NO 100% vegetarian primate, but there are 100% carnivorous primates, where does the ridiculous fiction of pure vegetarian primates come from? It invariably comes from human vegetarians and near-vegetarians who wish to distort animals into their own image to advance their own human politically correct (but naturally wrong) agendas.

Humans who buy into the vegetarian delusion of pacific, cuddly, infantilized, neotenized, 100% vegetarian primates and adopt a vegetarian or near-vegetarian diet tend to suffer the same pernicious effects that occur in nonhuman primates who who eat too much fruits and do not get enough animal nutrients from insects, grubs, worms, lizards, small animals, feces or other sources: vitamin and mineral deficiencies, tooth decay, and other afflictions. The fruit of their ignorance of nature is suffering. Vegetarianism is clearly the diet of masochists.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2009, 11:54:56 am by PaleoPhil »
>"When some one eats an Epi paleo Rx template and follows the rules of circadian biology they get plenty of starches when they are available three out of the four seasons." -Jack Kruse, MD
>"I recommend 20 percent of calories from carbs, depending on the size of the person" -Ron Rosedale, MD (in other words, NOT zero carbs) http://preview.tinyurl.com/6ogtan
>Finding a diet you can tolerate is not the same as fixing what's wrong. -Tim Steele
Beware of problems from chronic Very Low Carb

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Re: For First Time, Chimps Seen Making Weapons for Hunting!
« Reply #16 on: July 18, 2009, 06:13:21 pm »
Don't they eat ants?  That's meat too.

    I was attracted to eating ants as a kid.  It was fun :)

Humans who buy into the vegetarian delusion of pacific, cuddly, infantilized, neotenized, 100% vegetarian primates and adopt a vegetarian or near-vegetarian diet tend to suffer the same pernicious effects that occur in nonhuman primates who who eat too much fruits and do not get enough animal nutrients from insects, grubs, worms, lizards, small animals, feces or other sources: vitamin and mineral deficiencies, tooth decay, and other afflictions. The fruit of their ignorance of nature is suffering. Vegetarianism is clearly the diet of masochists.

    I know!!
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Offline SuperInfinity

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Re: For First Time, Chimps Seen Making Weapons for Hunting!
« Reply #17 on: July 19, 2009, 01:24:48 am »

There's a more startling possibility that vegetarians also ignore: scientists have reported the possibility of gorilla cannibalism! Even Dian Fossey [Gorillas in the Mist, pp. 77-78] admits to the possibility:

    "I was chilled at the implications of cannibalism among gorillas, though such behavior has been recorded among free-living chimpanzees.

     …it could not be concluded conclusively that Banjo [an infant gorilla] had been a victim of cannibalism. I still do not discount the possibility.
"

Paleophil, your ranting smacks of stuff you just found out yesterday, or are just looking up on the instant and then posting it. I already knew all of that, so I don't know why you're treating it like it's some kind of new thing. I knew about the Tarsiers who are very distant relatives, that's why I said "nearly all"... I usually try not to forget the "nearly" but the Tarsiers are very distant. They are only MOSTLY carnivorous anyway, none is a complete carnivore I think.

That possibility is far more startling and cruel than the regular going around and murdering of babies and juveniles that goes on among the majority of higher primates isn't it?!
« Last Edit: July 19, 2009, 01:29:56 am by SuperInfinity »

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Re: For First Time, Chimps Seen Making Weapons for Hunting!
« Reply #18 on: July 21, 2009, 03:36:20 pm »
The claim re orang utangs and spear fishing are not necessarily to be taken at face value. I remember that report ages back re orang utangs trying to fish with sticks in the river. Turned out they were just copying local fishermen. As regards the hunting, it does seem rather more likely that ancient apemen went in for a combination of hunting(smaller animals, probably) and scavenging(larger animals' carcasses most likely).
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Re: For First Time, Chimps Seen Making Weapons for Hunting!
« Reply #19 on: July 22, 2009, 01:38:32 am »
The claim re orang utangs and spear fishing are not necessarily to be taken at face value. I remember that report ages back re orang utangs trying to fish with sticks in the river. Turned out they were just copying local fishermen. As regards the hunting, it does seem rather more likely that ancient apemen went in for a combination of hunting(smaller animals, probably) and scavenging(larger animals' carcasses most likely).

They were just imitating them with no goal in mind or they were trying to catch the fish after copying the fishermen?

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Re: For First Time, Chimps Seen Making Weapons for Hunting!
« Reply #20 on: July 24, 2009, 12:31:12 pm »
They were just imitating them with no goal in mind or they were trying to catch the fish after copying the fishermen?
Well for once I have to agree with SuperInfinity. All the reports said the orang learned how to fish with a spear by observing fisherman, rather than just blindly mimicked them for no reason. Also, One of the orangs who had not seen fisherman fishing reportedly grabbed a stick and smacked a fish, stunning it, then he grabbed it and ate it.

An even better example is my avatar of a chimp who fashioned his own spear and excitedly stabbed into holes in trees with it, with killing force, hunting for bushbabies. The chimps smell or taste the spear after some vigorous thrusting, to see if they succeeded in a kill, as illustrated by my avatar. The chimp might be saying to himself, "Mmmm, I taste bushbaby blood!" ;D

So the idea that early humans could not have had the brains to use these and other hunting and fishing techniques is simply preposterous. Like ALL primates, early humans hunted. Even gorillas purposefully hunt insects. The myth of 100% vegetarian primates was dispelled by Jane Goodall and others long ago. No primates are pure vegetarian--none!
>"When some one eats an Epi paleo Rx template and follows the rules of circadian biology they get plenty of starches when they are available three out of the four seasons." -Jack Kruse, MD
>"I recommend 20 percent of calories from carbs, depending on the size of the person" -Ron Rosedale, MD (in other words, NOT zero carbs) http://preview.tinyurl.com/6ogtan
>Finding a diet you can tolerate is not the same as fixing what's wrong. -Tim Steele
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Offline The Barbarian

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Re: For First Time, Chimps Seen Making Weapons for Hunting!
« Reply #21 on: August 22, 2009, 11:05:48 am »
What are you blithering on about now PaleoPhil?

Everyone knows chimpanzees fish and go hunting. They hunt in bands to catch monkey meat, they do it for fun, not dissimilar from raids in World of Warcraft... 100% serious. They often THROW AWAY!!!!! fine pieces of meat they catch!!!!

It is NEVER a strategy for getting food. The energy expenditure vs energy getback is ludicrously tiny compared to foraging in any types of weather.

I like to hear of chimps etc. hunting and catching meat like this because it means I have the ability to consume fish and meat with not too much damage done to me. Humans aren't developed predators unlike chimps though, so I wouldn't exactly bank on it.

Honestly Paleophil, that was really a trolling and totally ignorant thing to say. The meat chimps eat is still only 1 or 2 percent of their diet!!! Gorilla eat NO meat!!!

Also, I'd be extremely, extremely surprised if this were the first time, in fact I'm positive this is wrong. They've long been known to sharpen sticks etc. to go hunting.


LOL I'm lpaying WOW right now, raiding the alliance for fun, hmmm   I didn't think to eat them though.

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Re: For First Time, Chimps Seen Making Weapons for Hunting!
« Reply #22 on: August 22, 2009, 07:34:45 pm »
Heh, SuperInfinity often made up the stuff he wrote. I don't think he cared what the truth was and just seemed to enjoy contradicting people and trying to piss the off.
>"When some one eats an Epi paleo Rx template and follows the rules of circadian biology they get plenty of starches when they are available three out of the four seasons." -Jack Kruse, MD
>"I recommend 20 percent of calories from carbs, depending on the size of the person" -Ron Rosedale, MD (in other words, NOT zero carbs) http://preview.tinyurl.com/6ogtan
>Finding a diet you can tolerate is not the same as fixing what's wrong. -Tim Steele
Beware of problems from chronic Very Low Carb

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Re: For First Time, Chimps Seen Making Weapons for Hunting!
« Reply #23 on: September 05, 2009, 11:30:48 am »
Ya but he eats a lot of sugars so he's mentally frantic, we can only feel sorry for him.

Offline PaleoPhil

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Re: For First Time, Chimps Seen Making Weapons for Hunting!
« Reply #24 on: September 05, 2009, 11:23:44 pm »
Yes, I have noticed a correlation between high carb consumption and frantic behavior--a high-carb personality, if you will. It is reminiscent of the skittish behavior of plant-eating prey animals.
>"When some one eats an Epi paleo Rx template and follows the rules of circadian biology they get plenty of starches when they are available three out of the four seasons." -Jack Kruse, MD
>"I recommend 20 percent of calories from carbs, depending on the size of the person" -Ron Rosedale, MD (in other words, NOT zero carbs) http://preview.tinyurl.com/6ogtan
>Finding a diet you can tolerate is not the same as fixing what's wrong. -Tim Steele
Beware of problems from chronic Very Low Carb

 

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