A new study suggests that ancestors of sea otters were already using tools millions of years ago. This means the species learned to use tool earlier than dolphins.
When it comes to solving problems, kids and wild great apes will spontaneously invent similar tools. For instance, when given a stick, young children will use it to retrieve Play Doh balls stuck inside a tube, much like apes use sticks to reach insects at the bottom of a hole. This discovery counters previous beliefs suggesting such tool use requires social learning.