When it comes to animal tool use, primates like orangutans and gorillas are usually the first to spring to mind, but they certainly aren't the only species that make use of various instruments when hunting for prey or warding off predators. Take this humble heron, for example; it was filmed recently using insects as bait to nab a fishy treat:

Filmed in South Africa's Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park, the cunning heron can be seen carefully placing an insect – either a beetle or a grasshopper – on the surface of the water. The moment a fish moves in to investigate the potential meal, the striated heron (Butorides striata) plunges its long bill into the water and spears the unsuspecting prey. 

Use of bait and lures by green-backed herons is fairly well-recorded in the scientific literature. These birds have been documented employing this crafty technique in Africa, the US, Cuba, Japan and Peru. In some cases, herons make use of lures such as feathers, fruit or flowers, while others opt for bait, like insects or even bread to attract small fish to the surface.

Header image: Gerifalte Del Sabana