By Rob Picheta, CNN
Updated 2:01 PM ET, Mon March 9, 2020
Tango the chimp in Somoria, Guinea.
The unique culture of nut-cracking chimpanzees has been selected for conservation by the UN, marking the first time an animal activity has been preserved by the international body. After decades of extensive research into the advanced learning patterns of chimpanzees, the organization’s Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species (CMS) body agreed to protect the ability of chimps in west Africa to crack nuts. The activity was chosen for conservation because it highlights chimpanzees’ “unique technological culture,” the CMS said. Chimps can crack open different kinds of nuts with stones and pieces of wood, which they use as a hammer and an anvil. But those talents are only visible in the westernmost parts of the species’ range, the CMS said — chimps in Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and the Ivory Coast have the ability, but those in other parts of Africa do not.