"The Superfluity of Thumbs"
For a long time, scientists thought
that tool use was exclusive to humanity
and required opposable thumbs.
Then they started to realize that
some animals could use tools
even if they hadn't invented them,
like kittens trained to use a toilet
instead of a litterbox.
Some wild animals turned out
to use tools as well, such as
octopodes carrying seashells
or coconut shells for shelter.
Others used them for fun,
like birds snowboarding
down a roof on a plastic lid.
Tool use, is seems, is not
limited by physique or species,
only by ingenuity.
* * *
Animal tool use has taken time to discover. Domesticated animals can be trained to use tools, such as toilet-training a cat. In the wild, octopodes use coconuts and seashells for shelter, and birds use plastic lids as snowboards.