Recently, Edie asked: I am amazed when I see pictures of their feet-they seem so versatile! Do they ever use their feet like hands?
Chimpanzee feet are pretty amazing indeed. Unlike our own, they are prehensile, meaning they have the ability to grasp. This is because their big toes are opposable, like our thumbs.
This is presumably an adaptation to aid in climbing, like when scaling tree trunks:
Or when clinging to vines and small branches:
They can also aid in maintaining balance when perched precariously above the ground:
But they can also function like an extra set of hands when necessary. Gathering tomatoes? With prehensile feet you can haul twice as many.
Difficult Kong puzzle? Why not let your feet do some of the work and free up both hands?
Wondering where to put your doll when you are eating lunch suspended from the caging? You can trust that Dora the Explorer will remain safely in the grip of your opposable toe.
The dexterity of chimpanzee feet also makes them great for tickling.
I hope all chimpanzees stop once and a while to appreciate having such useful feet.