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On an October day in 2015, ecologist Meredith Root-Bernstein was watching a family of rare pigs at a Parisian zoo when something caught her eye. One of the Visayan warty pigs — a critically endangered species native to the Philippines — picked up a piece of bark in its mouth and started digging with it, pushing the soil around. "I said, Whoa, that's pretty cool," says Root-Bernstein, a visiting researcher at the Musée de l'Homme in Paris and a National Geographic Explorer. "When I looked up tool use in pigs, there was nothing." Intrigued, the scientist returned to the menagerie at the Jardin des Plantes frequently over the following months to try to observe the behavior again, to no avail. She hypothesized that what she'd seen was related to nest-building, which Visayan warty pigs generally do every six months to prepare for the arrival of piglets. Sure enough, the next spring, a colleague returned to the warty pig enclosure and recorded three of the four animals using tools to...