Human Evolution

, Volume 9, Issue 4, pp 323–329

Aimed throwing of stones by tufted capuchin monkeys (Cebus apella)

  • G. C. Westergaard
  • S. J. Suomi

DOI: 10.1007/BF02435518

Cite this article as:
Westergaard, G.C. & Suomi, S.J. Hum. Evol. (1994) 9: 323. doi:10.1007/BF02435518


The purpose of this research was to examine aimed throwing of stones by tufted capuchin monkeys (Cebus apella). Three capuchins (two adults and one juvenile) threw stones at a stationary target located outside their home cages. The monkeys subsequently discriminated between stationary targets and threw stones at a moving target. Each subject exhibited a distinct manual and postural throwing preference. These results demonstrate that capuchins have throwing capabilities which are thought to have been associated with early hominid evolution.

Key words

Capuchin evolution hominid throwing tool-use 

Copyright information

© International Institute for the Study of Man 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. C. Westergaard
    • 1
  • S. J. Suomi
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Comparative EthologyNational Institute of Child Health and Human DevelopmentPoolesvilleUSA

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