Self-treatment of wounds by a capuchin monkey (Cebus apella)
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.Get Access
A captive adult female capuchin monkey spontaneously manufactured and used tools to groom her vaginal area and four of her own wounds over a six-month period. The wounds apparently occurred during fights with other monkeys living in the same social groups. The monkey often groomed her vaginal area and wounds with tools she had coated with a sugar-based syrup. The monkey did not use tools to groom other body areas, nor did she use tools that were coated with substances other than syrup. This monkey’s unusual habit developed in the context of manufacturing and using tools in a feeding task. These observations demonstrate that the serendipitous performance of particular behaviours in appropriate contexts can lead to the discovery and practice of simple treatment of wounds by a monkey. The independent discovery of simple medicinal procedures in human cultures may have occurred in a similar manner. Such discoveries could have predated the development of sophisticated cultures in which medicinal practices were embedded and eventually recorded.
- Beck B. B., 1980.Animal Tool Behavior. New York: Garland STPM Press.
- Chirife J. C., Herszage L., Joseph A. &Kohn E., 1983.In vitro study of bacterial growth inhibition in concentrated sugar solutions: microbiological basis for the use of sugar in treating infected wounds. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, 23: 766–773.
- Forrest R. D., 1982.Early history of wound treatment. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, 25: 198–205.
- Jolly A., 1985.The Evolution of Primate Behavior. New York: Macmillan Publishing Co.
- Kohler W., 1925.The Mentality of Apes. New York: Harcourt, Brace.
- Majno G., 1975.The Healing Hand. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Univ. Press.
- McGrew W. C. &Tutin C. E. G., 1973.Chimpanzee tool use in dental grooming. Nature, 241: 477–478. CrossRef
- Robinson J., 1979.Correlates of urine washing in the wedge-capped capudhin (Cebus nigrivittatus). In: J. F. Eisenberg (ed.) Vertebrate Ecology in the Northern Neotropics. Washington, D. C.: Smithosonian Institute Press, pp. 137–143.
- Sugiyama Y., 1985.The brush-stick of chimpanzees in southwest Cameroon and their cultural characteristics. Primates, 26: 361–374. CrossRef
- Van Lawick-Goodall J., 1970.Tool-using in primates and other vertebrates. In: D.S. Lehrman, R. A. Hinde, and E. Shaw (eds.) Advances in the Study of Behaviour, New York: Academic Press, pp. 195–249.
- Van Lawick-Goodall J., Van Lawick H. &Packer C., 1973.Tool use in free-living baboons in the Gombe National Park, Tanzania. Nature, 241: 212–213. CrossRef
- Vincent F., 1973.Utilisation spontanee d’outils chez le mandrill (Primate). Mammalia, 37: 277–280. CrossRef
- Westergaard G. C., Fragaszy D. M., 1985.Effects of manipulatable objects on the activity of captive capuchin monkeys (Cebus apella). Zoo Biology, 4: 317–327. CrossRef
- Westergaard G. C., Fragaszy D. M., 1987.The manufacture and use of tools by capuchin monkeys (Cebus apella). Journal of Comparative Psychology, 101: 159–168. CrossRef
- Self-treatment of wounds by a capuchin monkey (Cebus apella)
Volume 2, Issue 6 , pp 557-562
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Kluwer Academic Publishers
- Additional Links
- Cebus apella