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Operation Persistence


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Oh yeah.


I've gotten through much of it already, very engaging and full of ticklish information to ponder.


One thing Bipto, on that firewood question: Right. Who knows for sure? But, as a furniture builder, carpenter  and a 24/7 wood burner in winter, I am a dyed-in-the-wool wood geek. This week I've been making "little ones out of big ones", splitting my wood for this upcoming heating season, so I've had firewood on the brain lately as well. This got me to thinking about what a BF would find compelling about a stick of wood, and I really think it might not be all that complicated.


First off, we have to acknowledge a Wood Ape is surrounded by this material, from birth to death, but in an unworked form. A piece of split firewood has the qualities of both being familiar, but unique at the same time. As far as we know, I think, they do not have the ability to fashion anything like this on their own, and they recognize it as special for that reason. It may bestow status on a WA that has a piece of it, not only for the intrinsic value, but also possibly as a trophy of a kind. As you noted, seasoned firewood resonates quite nicely when struck against a tree, or another piece of wood. (One theory I have is that many of the reported "wood knock" episodes reported in BFRO reports might only be campers doing this...it is a satisfying feeling/sound, as anyone knows who has connected with a fastball with a H&B ash wood bat ) 


When I split a large round of oak down to splits for my stove, I often wind up with either a triangular or roughly squared piece of wood from the center, without bark. I refer to these as the "fillets" of the tree.  I often will just pick them up and note how they are, well, just plain cool to look at and hold. There is something in the hominid brain (well, in mine at least) that gets a burst of endorphins when you hold a fashioned piece of wood. Imagine this feeling if you had no ability to make something similar on your own. You'd covet it, for sure. 


You might want to pay more attention to the types of firewood splits that get pilfered. Size and dimensions, as well as symmetry may matter.  

In the Ndoki region of Congo, researchers noted the interest gorillas took in the sticks chimps used to break into termite nests.  Of course gorillas aren't known to do that.  Yet.


It occurs to me that anything using sticks to beat trees is going to do two things:


1) memorize the locations on its terrain of beatable trees, i.e., ones that resonate;

2) either leave good beaters by those trees, or carry one around.  The former may be why firewood is showing up where it is.


Remarkable?  Sure.  Human?


No more than woodpeckers recognizing and memorizing the "drumming trees" on their territories ...one of which is the !$#!! drain spout on your !%!$%#! house...

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More fun stuff about gorillas and chimps, the former particularly:




This passage struck me:



When chimpanzees were first seen using tools in Liberia in 1951, little was known about great ape behavior in the wild. The sighting was published as a short note by Harry Beatty in the Journal of Mammalogy (recounted by primatologist Frans de Waal in The Ape and the Sushi Master). After spotting a shell mound, Beatty saw a chimp “come ambling round a bend bearing an armful of dried palm nuts,†sit down beside a rock, select a nut, place it on a flat rock surface, and pound it with another rock to extract the meat. Thirty years passed before primatologists would describe the same behavior in chimps in Guinea. By then it was clear that nonhuman primates used objects for many tasks, from intimidating rivals and predators to taking leaf sponge baths and processing food. Still, the notion that tool use was not the sole province of human intelligence was difficult for some to accept.



Of course most of us think that tool use in chimps - in any animal, outside of humans - was first observed by Jane Goodall more than a decade later. 


This is the point Bindernagel makes so well in The Discovery of the Sasquatch.  Things frequently get discovered...then the discoveries get forgotten, either through being discredited when first observed, and then dropped, or through being ...well, simply forgotten.


Somebody said to me yesterday that all reports of wood apes prior to the P/G film were said to be of "people" of some kind (e.g., "wildman").  I replied that there is no assertion on this topic easier to prove wrong (the book above, for one thing, has several examples from the 19th and early 20th centuries).


Science misplaces its spectacles sometimes just like the rest of us.



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Some of the structures there have nut-bearing trees overhanging them and some don't. There are a number of accounts and not all of them happened at the same location. Also, the nuts typically don't start falling until later in the summer (June-ish), so in some cases, the nuts are a factor and in others they aren't. 



Humans are known to use just such a hammer and anvil when collecting hickory in the wild.




I just don't see how you can attribute this to an unknown species of ape.

Edited by Drew
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Would a trespassing nut collector run the risk of getting caught by taking the time (and making the noise) of husking the nuts while on the trespassed property?

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't Area X private?

Question for Bipto - the video showing the rock with the nuts, was this on private or public land?

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