Which Animal Has Been Observed Using Sticks To Lure In Prey?
Although primates get all the limelight when it comes to tool use in the animal kingdom, they’re certainly not alone. Researchers studying alligator and crocodile populations have discovered that they use sticks as a sort of lure for their prey. Specifically, during nesting season when herons and other birds are gathering sticks to construct their nests, the crocodiles and alligators will balance bird-tempting sticks on their snouts and then snap up the unlucky birds that swoop down to grab the sticks. Researchers have ruled the stick-on-snout trick as deliberate tool use given that the alligators and crocodiles in question only use the trick during the nesting season, and even in bodies of water without free floating sticks, they will nose around until they find some on the bank to use for a lure.
Photo courtesy of Vladimir Dinets Research.