, Volume 26, Issue 2, pp 182–194

Comparison of object manipulation among 74 species of non-human primates

  • Takashi Torigoe


Seventy-four primates species (24 genera of six families) were presented with a nylon rope and a wooden cube, and their subsequent manipulations were recorded in detail. Five hundreds and six manipulation patterns were distinguished on the basis of the actions performed, body-parts used and relations to other objects. Inter-specific comparisons revealed three groups: (1) lemurs, marmosets, spider monkeys and leaf-eaters; (2) Old World monkeys except leaf-eaters; and (3) cebus monkeys and apes. The first group had the smallest repertoire of manipulations, in which only a few types of actions and body-parts were involved. The second and third groups had more varied modes of manipulation. Actions such as Roll, Rub and Slide, and use of fingers characterized these groups. Except for the lesser ape, their manipulations were frequently related with other objects. Moreover, actions such as Drape, Drop, Strike, Swing and Throw were typical of the third group. The factors producing such inter-specific differences in manipulations and the relations to tool use are discussed.

Key Words

Object manipulation Inter-specific comparison Phylogency Tool use 


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Copyright information

© Japan Monkey Centre 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Takashi Torigoe
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychology, Faculty of EducationHiroshima UniversityHiroshimaJapan

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