, Volume 31, Issue 3, pp 375–383 | Cite as

Tool use by wild cebus monkeys at Santa Rosa National Park, Costa Rica

  • Suzanne Chevalier-Skolnikoff


Although wild cebus monkeys have been observed to use tools, this behavior has been reported only rarely. No one has systematically examined tool use in wildCebus, and it is not known how prevalent tool use is in the species' natural repertoire. During 300 hr of observation on 21 wild capuchins (Cebus capucinus imitator) at Santa Rosa National Park in Costa Rica, 31 incidents of tool use, including eight different types of tool-use behavior, were observed. These observations indicate that tool use is a notable behavior pattern in this troop. Considering these incidents of tool use in conjunction with other reports on complex food-getting and preparation behavior byCebus suggests that tool use is a manifestation ofCebus' high behavioral adaptability. Since onlyCebus and the great apes (especially chimpanzees) have been observed to show such a diverse tool-use repertoire, to use tools so frequently, or to show such complex food-getting behavior in the wild, these observations also support the notion thatCebus and the great apes have followed a parallel evolutionary development of tool-using capacity.

Key Words

Aggression Cebus Monkeys Parallel evolution Sensorimotor intelligence Tool use 


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Copyright information

© Japan Monkey Centre 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Suzanne Chevalier-Skolnikoff
    • 1
  1. 1.California Primate Research CenterUniversity of CaliforniaDavisU.S.A.

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