Saturday, 2 March 2013

Nut-Cracking Monkeys Show Humanlike Skills

Stephanie Pappas, LiveScience Senior Writer
Date: 27 February 2013 Time: 05:00 PM ET

Nut-cracking monkeys don't just use tools. They use tools with skill.

That's the conclusion of a new study that finds similar tool-use strategies between humans and Brazil's bearded capuchin monkeys, which use rocks to smash nuts for snacks. Both monkeys and humans given the nut-smashing task take the time to place the nuts in their most stable position on a stone "anvil," the study found, keeping the tasty morsels from rolling away.
CREDIT: Barth Wright 

That means the monkeys are able to not only use tools, but to use them with finesse. This ability may be a precursor to humans' ability to adapt tools to different circumstances and to use them smoothly under varying conditions.

A bearded capuchin monkey uses a rock to crack open a nut placed on a stone "anvil."


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