Sunday, July 15, 2007

New Chimp Species Appears to be Intelligent Predators

A report out that a large tribe of super tool-using, animal-hunting chimpanzees has been found in Africa.

A great headline but it did make me at first doubt the story: Found: the giant lion-eating chimps of the magic forest.
Deep in the Congolese jungle is a band of apes that, according to local legend, kill lions, catch fish and even howl at the moon.

Early speculation that the apes may be some yeti-like new species or a chimp/gorilla hybrid proved unfounded, but the truth has turned out to be in many ways even more fascinating. They are actually a population of super-sized chimps with a unique culture - and it seems, a taste for big cat flesh.
The Wiki, needs editing and more data, describes the Bili Apes as some sort of hybrid of chimps and gorillas, larger than most chimpanzees and with many of the behaviors of gorillas. They have been classified as a subspecies of chimpanzee, Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii.

A report from one study group. Photos.

National Geographic: Elusive African Apes: Giant Chimps or New Species?

These Bili Apes are getting closer to the fictional Great Ape species Mangani that raised Tarzan and the killer apes of the movie Congo.

A few years ago Bili Apes were one of the top cryptids, creatures that may or may not exist.

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