Journal of Ethology

, Volume 29, Issue 1, pp 187–189

Innovative coconut-opening in a semi free-ranging rhesus monkey (Macaca mulatta): a case report on behavioral propensities

  • Jordan A. Comins
  • Brian E. Russ
  • Kelley A. Humbert
  • Marc D. Hauser
Short Communication

DOI: 10.1007/s10164-010-0234-0

Cite this article as:
Comins, J.A., Russ, B.E., Humbert, K.A. et al. J Ethol (2011) 29: 187. doi:10.1007/s10164-010-0234-0

Abstract

The present case report provides a description of the emergence of an innovative, highly beneficial foraging behavior in a single rhesus monkey (Macaca mulatta) on the island of Cayo Santiago, Puerto Rico. Selectively choosing the island’s cement dock and nearby surrounding rocky terrain, our focal subject (ID: 84 J) opens coconuts using two types of underhand tosses: (1) a rolling motion to move it, and (2) a throwing motion up in the air to crack the shell. We discuss this innovative behavior in light of species-specific behavioral propensities.

Keywords

InnovationBehavioral repertoireForagingRhesus macaques

Copyright information

© Japan Ethological Society and Springer 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jordan A. Comins
    • 1
  • Brian E. Russ
    • 1
  • Kelley A. Humbert
    • 2
  • Marc D. Hauser
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyHarvard UniversityCambridgeUSA
  2. 2.Department of NeurobiologyHarvard UniversityCambridgeUSA
  3. 3.Department of Human Evolutionary BiologyHarvard UniversityCambridgeUSA