Did apes make stone tools?
You've probably seen the headlines declaring that Paranthropus made and used stone tools, and if not, your news aggregator probably isn't tuned into "human evolution" stories like mine. The stories are referring to a newly published study of a very interesting site on the shore of Lake Victoria on the western edge of Kenya . Paranthropus is the new genus name for what used to be called the "robust australopithecines." These creatures are characterized by their huge jaws, wide faces, and on some specimens, a sagittal crest like a gorilla. Studies of their teeth suggest that a large fraction of their diet was grass. My own research has consistently shown that Paranthropus may be a separate created kind from both humans and other apes like Australopithecus afarensis , "Lucy." So my take is that they're not human. For one of my recent research projects, I spent some time looking at stone tools in east Africa, and I came away from that w