What is it about?

Capuchin monkeys are clever primates that lives on Central and South America. They are known to use stone tools for nut-cracking in several populations in Brazil. However, one population presents a wider variety of stone tool use than any other. In this research me described the repertoire of stone tools for two groups in this population, that lives at Serra da Capivara National Park (Brazil). They not only use stone tool to crack nuts and seeds, such as cashew nuts and manihot seeds, but they also use stones to dig for tubers, roots and trapdoor spiders! They also use stone hammers to pound and pulverize quartzite pebbles and rub/lick on the dust. We still don't know why they do that. The monkeys also select the proper stone size for each activity, showing that they learn about the properties of the stones.

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Why is it important?

This population of capuchin monkey has a unique set of tools that they use forseveral goals. Those behaviors are potential cultural traits that are diferent from other populations of the same species!


This article was one of the main results of my doctorate project and was a huge chalenge to produce it at the time. It is also one of the first detailed description of the stone tool use by those capuchins, and helped to show to the scientific community those very interesting groups of capuchins!

Dr Tiago Falótico

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: The manifold use of pounding stone tools by wild capuchin monkeys of Serra da Capivara National Park, Brazil, Behaviour, January 2016, Brill,
DOI: 10.1163/1568539x-00003357.
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