Tools are used by some animals to perform simple tasks such as the acquisition of food, grooming, or for recreation. Originally thought to be a skill only possessed by humans, tool use often requires a more sophisticated level of intelligence. Primates have been observed exploiting sticks and stones to accomplish tasks. Numerous bird species have also been noted as capable of using tools. The behaviour has also been observed in dolphins, elephants, otters, birds and octopuses. Tools may be used by animals for construction. Very rarely, non-human animals have been observed building their own tools, e.g., primates removing leaves and twigs from a branch or sharpening a stick to use as a weapon.
Opposable thumbs are a benefit in tool use, though creatures without hands have managed to use other body parts to their advantage, notably the mouth.
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