If Chimps Kill With Sticks, Do Bigfoot?

Posted by: Loren Coleman on February 23rd, 2007

Chimp With Stick

News out of Africa about chimpanzees fashioning and using tools has a direct impact on a recent debate about Bigfoot. As you will recall, M. K. Davis made public statements about a stick being held by the Patterson-Gimlin Bigfoot, and connected it to Bigfoot being human, due to that stick. Besides the fact few could see the stick that Davis saw, the counterpoint is that great apes do use sticks, of course, and use of such a tool is no measure of “humanity.”

I am not going to rehash the entire unfolding of the new finding readily available via this article, “Chimps Use ‘Spears’ to Hunt Mammals, Study Says” and now being seen in news rewrites around the world.

But here’s a one sentence summary of what has been discovered and announced this week:

No fewer than 22 times, researchers documented wild chimpanzees on an African savanna fashioning sticks into “spears” to hunt small primates called lesser bush babies.John Roach,National Geographic News

What does this have to do with cryptozoology, Cryptomundo, and Bigfoot affairs? Well, as you may remember, those recent comments from M.K. Davis noted that if Bigfoot carries a big stick, it must be human (specifically via an unfortunate characterization of a certain group of California native peoples). As this new African research shows, using a tool, or even killing with a stick, does not equal “being human.”

I found that the Patterson subject was carrying…a stick.M. K. Davis, December 3, 2006

Gorilla With Stick

Above (top and directly here) are two photographs; (1) a common chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) digging with a stick; and (2) a lowland gorilla (Gorilla gorilla) with a stick. We now know that chimps also kill and attempt to kill with sticks.

If the Patterson Bigfoot was carrying a stick, which I doubt, does not inform any finding as to Bigfoot being a form of undiscovered ape, versus Davis’ idea that it must be an “Indian.”

For more on the Davis-Bigfoot discussion, see the following postings and the links to be found therein: “Bigfoot With A Stick?”, and “What Stick?”, where Green, Noll, and Murphy dispute the fact there is even a stick being held by the Bigfoot shown in the Patterson-Gimlin footage.

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

57 Responses to “If Chimps Kill With Sticks, Do Bigfoot?”

  1. Remus responds:

    Here’s a true story from my own experience. Make of it what you will. A few years ago, a crow seemed to try using my Jeep as a tool.
    One day during my daily commute to work, just as I crested a hill in the woods, I came across a crow and a squirrel “fighting” in the center of the lane. I hit the brakes so as not to run them over and as I came to a stop, the crow flew off and the squirrel ran into the woods. I didn’t think much about it until the same thing happened a week later in the same spot. Soon afterward I became aware of the fact that there was often a dead “roadkilled” squirrel on that patch of road. I mentioned this to a few people at work but no-one believed my theory that a crow might have perhaps seen a squirrel get run over and was trying to duplicate the scene. Later that summer, there was a dead crow on the road. After that there were few if any dead squirrels in that area. Purely anecdotal at this point of course, but it did in fact happen!

  2. kittenz responds:

    Comment Preview:

    That is a terrific story, and in light of the recent observations that some birds plan ahead to store food, it’s not that much of a stretch to think that intelligent birds such as crows might plan ahead to use vehicles to procure food.

    Here is a link to a story that was posted recently at http://www.sciencedaily.com, announcing the finding that scrub jays plan ahead to store food against shortages:

    People have known for centuries that some birds store food, but it has now been documented in a behavioral experiment that they can forecast specific times of future need, and store food accordingly.

  3. kittenz responds:

    To relate all this back to Sasquatch, an animal as intelligent as they are thought to be would not have to “act human” in any way in order to survive. If birds and other animals can learn to store food against famine, so could Sasquatch. Ditto for using tools and forming weapons with which to hunt. And who knows? There are a lot of hot springs in North America. Maybe someday, someone will observe a family of Sasquatch, communing in a long hot soak, or seasoning their food with salt water.

  4. kittenz responds:

    We’ve only begun to scatch the surface when it comes to animal behavior.They (the Sas) could even be using highways to procure food, as Remus’s crows appear to have done. I can imagine one chasing a deer til it runs out in front of a truck, and hanging around until traffic clears to pick up the carcass.

  5. mystery_man responds:

    I think there is certainly value to the observations made by people who haven’t studied these things and had their views narrowed. I have degrees in biology and zoology and I can attest to the fact that my own view sometimes seems skewed towards what I have specifically been taught. But in recent years, I have seen the errors of thinking along the lines of “I know what I’m talking about.” Obviously that is not always the case and I find that students of mine often make the most breathtaking little observations. I am even often corrected by others who have no training at all and I think that even one with training should not get indignant about it as I may have once upon a time. I wish there was more of this “thinking outside of the box” going on in all research. Scientists can tend to be conditioned to think one way or another and nowadays, I never write off the observations of a layman, in fact I welcome them. It is one of the reasons I love this site. So many different people with so many different backgrounds that have something to say and more often than not, something useful or profound to say.

  6. DWA responds:

    mystery_man: exactly. This is what “thinking outside the box” IS. Your box is the way you’ve been taught (professionally) to think.

    (And before anyone comes in with “then just believe that sas are four-dimension saucer pilots”: without lines within which it makes sense to paint, there would be no science.)

    Zen mind/beginner’s mind is something all of us – scientists included, maybe even especially – need more of. (The best scientists have always had it.) Jane Goodall did things differently from the way mainstream scientists did them. She also wrote all of it down, religiously. Science is documenting process.

    As an avid backpacker, I’ve noticed one salient thing over the years: many of the best insights into how to do things better come from beginners. It’s a do-it-yourself sport, and a generalist sport, and it winds up being informed by what the individual brings to it from everyday life.

    Hmmmm. Something like science, isn’t it?

  7. mystery_man responds:

    DWA- “Zen mind”. Excellent way to put it. I think science could use a lot more of it indeed. I also think that beginners can ask some of the most thought provoking things even when they do not have a better way of doing things. Sometimes a student will ask something completely innocently about how something works and it really will make me stop and think. How many times has a kid asked a seemingly simple question that made you really think things through? If more people who are so called “experts” would put aside their regimented thinking and stop to listen, they may actually expand their search for the truth. Its these kinds of questions and searching for answers that feed science and indeed many other things in life. In my opinion, it is what ultimately makes the world go around in a way.

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