What’s the oldest invention that we still use today? © Dan Bright

What’s the oldest invention that we still use today?

The wheel? Think again, inventions are not exclusive to humans with other animals coming up with solutions to problems long before we were on the scene.

Asked by: Chris McMullon, Barnham, West Sussex


We tend to think of ‘inventions’ as problem-solving ideas dreamt up by humans. But there’s evidence that we’re still benefiting from inventions consciously made by pre-human species.

Certain types of crow have proved capable of making simple tools like hooks, and are suspected to have done so for several million years, long before we arrived on the scene. Meanwhile, great apes – which include chimpanzees, gorillas and ourselves – are unique in creating a safe place to sleep each day, suggesting that beds and bed-making date back even further.

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