Setting tool use within the context of animal construction behaviour

Hansell, M. and Ruxton, G. D. (2008) Setting tool use within the context of animal construction behaviour. Trends in Ecology and Evolution, 23(2), pp. 73-78. (doi: 10.1016/j.tree.2007.10.006)

Full text not currently available from Enlighten.

Publisher's URL:


Tool use and manufacture are given prominence by their rarity and suggested relation to human lineage. Here, we question the view that tool use is rare because cognitive abilities act as an evolutionary constraint and suggest that tools are actually seldom very useful compared with anatomical adaptations. Furthermore, we argue that focussing on animal tool use primarily in terms of human evolution can lead to important insights regarding the ecological and cognitive abilities of non-human tool users being overlooked. We argue that such oversight can best be avoided by examining tools within the wider context of construction behaviours by animals (such as nest building and trap construction)

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Ruxton, Professor Graeme and Hansell, Professor Michael
Authors: Hansell, M., and Ruxton, G. D.
Subjects:Q Science > QL Zoology
Q Science > QH Natural history
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Biodiversity, One Health & Veterinary Medicine
Journal Name:Trends in Ecology and Evolution

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record