Tool Use - Research Article from Macmillan Science Library: Animal Sciences

This encyclopedia article consists of approximately 6 pages of information about Tool Use.
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Egyptian Vultures

An Egyptian vulture, Neophron percnopterus, has been observed breaking open ostrich eggs, too hard to open by pecking, by throwing a stone held in its beak at the egg shell. The bird's aim is quite good. According to reports by Jane Goodall, the vultures will wander as far as 50 meters (165 feet) from the egg to find a suitable rock.

The rock most often chosen is an egg shaped. This suggests that the vultures have modified an earlier behavior. Many birds throw or drop eggs to break them. John Alcock has suggested that the vultures originally threw or dropped eggs to break them open. The use of rocks to break the eggs open probably began when a vulture accidentally hit an egg with a rock. They then evolved from throwing the eggs to throwing rocks at the eggs. The movement the vulture makes when breaking an egg...

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This section contains 1,520 words
(approx. 6 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Tool Use Encyclopedia Article
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Macmillan Science Library: Animal Sciences
Tool Use from Macmillan Science Library: Animal Sciences. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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