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Nature & Environment

Monkeys in Panama have entered the Stone Age

By T.K. Randall
July 4, 2018 · Comment icon 15 comments

White-faced capuchins are rather intelligent. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Steven G. Johnson
Remarkable new footage shows a white-faced capuchin using a stone as a hammer to break open nuts to eat.
The discovery was made by an international team of researchers who had set up camera traps around Panama's Coiba National Park in an effort to capture the capuchins' behavior on film.

They were elated when they captured footage of one of the animals using a stone to break open nuts, making white-faced capuchins only the fourth non-human primate species known to use stone tools.
Intriguingly, only the animals on one particular island seemed to have figured out how to do this, suggesting that they, as well as our own ancestors, may have stumbled upon tool use by chance.

In addition to white-faced capuchins, other non-human primates known to use stone tools include chimpanzees in West Africa, macaques in Thailand and tufted capuchins in South America.

Source: Fox News | Comments (15)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #6 Posted by paperdyer 6 years ago
So, the Planet of the Apes has started.  I do hope the next generation of humanoids improves on the current ones.
Comment icon #7 Posted by Piney 6 years ago
I have a catbird that rides on the loader and sits next to me when I am moving the cut offs from the logs up to the house for firewood he jumps down to the empty spot and looks for bugs. Then when I'm splitting wood he just sits on the pile waiting to spot a spider. Birds are far from stupid. 
Comment icon #8 Posted by openozy 6 years ago
The crows here in Oz have learnt how to deal with the introduced poisonous cane toad by flipping it on its back and eating its guts out.The cane toads are decimating large numbers of predators here.I love crows.
Comment icon #9 Posted by kapow53 6 years ago
Got to be kidding
Comment icon #10 Posted by bison 6 years ago
Several animals  are known to modify found objects to use as tools. Chimpanzees make wooden spears from sticks, for hunting prey, shred and wad up leaves to make ersatz sponges for gathering drinking water, and modify twigs for 'fishing' for termites in narrow holes. Elephants carefully modify leafy branches for fans, when they're too hot. Crows modify twigs, leaves and even their own feathers for tools.
Comment icon #11 Posted by oldrover 6 years ago
And newts use Dremels. It's rare, but it happens.  To me this does qualify as tool use, but the headline is a bit OTT, when it doesn't have to be because this is an interesting enough.  Tool use is known in many species, and ones you just wouldn't expect such as crocodiles. I'd argue that selecting an object and using to carry out or aid an activity qualifies. 
Comment icon #12 Posted by Setton 6 years ago
Actually, the pyramids and stonehenge are from the bronze age so you're expecting a bit much  Aaand nerdiness done for the day. 
Comment icon #13 Posted by Tatetopa 6 years ago
I love them too.  They are wicked smart.  There is a young girl in Seattle, 10-12 years old  that feeds crows in her neighborhood.  They started bringing her trinkets and shiny bits.    They do recognize individuals and can react differently to different people.  Better be on your best behavior around them or they will remember and tell their friends.    Some species of crows have been observed looking for a proper stick then  modifying it with their beaks to fashion a grub hook.  Chimps do modify sticks sometimes too in order to fish termites, it is a learned behavior and takes pra... [More]
Comment icon #14 Posted by Tatetopa 6 years ago
Yeah, a bit sensational. Orangutans and chimps can build a fire by gathering kindling and use matches or a lighter to start it then cook a hot dog.  Some of them can use a computer to communicate about as well as us old folks.  It is a learned behavior.  They can see results and imitate them to get success.  Maybe the Aha moment of inventiveness will come some day. At this point, if something fashions a stick to break into your flat and steal any grubs or small shiny bits in your kitchen, my money is on New Caledonian crows.
Comment icon #15 Posted by TripGun 6 years ago
A large rectangle monolith was also found nearby... I'm not saying there related...

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