Skip to main content

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

Abstract

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.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  1. Anderson J.R., 1990.Use of objects as hammers to open nuts by capuchin monkeys (Cebus apella). Folia Primatologica, 54: 138–145.

    Google Scholar 

  2. Beck, B.B., 1980.Animal tool behavior: The use and manufacture of tools by animals. New York: Garland Press.

    Google Scholar 

  3. Bierens de Haan, J., 1931.Werkzeuggebrauch und Werkeugerstellung bei einem niederen Affen (Cebus hypoleucus Humb.). [Use and production of tools in a capuchin monkey]. Zeitschrift fur Vergleichende Physiologie, 13:639–695.

    Google Scholar 

  4. Boesch, C. & Boesch, H., 1983.Optimisation of nut-cracking with natural hammers by wild chimpanzees. Behaviour, 83: 265–286.

    Google Scholar 

  5. Boesch, C. & Boesch, H., 1990.Tool use and tool making in wild chimpanzees. Folia Primatologica, 54: 86–99.

    Google Scholar 

  6. Calvin, W.H., 1983a.The throwing Madonna: Essays on the brain. New York: Bantam Books.

    Google Scholar 

  7. Calvin, W.H., 1983b.A stone's throw and its launch window: Timing precision and its implications for language and hominid brains. Journal of Theoretical Biology, 104: 121–135.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Calvin, W.H., 1993.The unitary hypothesis: A common neural circuitry for novel manipulations, language, plan-ahead, and throwing? In K. R. Gibson & T. Ingold, eds., Tools, language, and cognition in human evolution, pp. 230–250. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  9. Costello, M.B. & Fragaszy, D.M., 1988.Prehension in Cebus and Saimiri: I. Grip type and hand preference. American Journal of Primatology, 15: 235–245.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Fifer, F.C., 1987.The adoption of bipedalism by the hominids: A new hypothesis. Human Evolution, 2, 135–147.

    Google Scholar 

  11. Fragaszy, D.M. & Mitchell, S.R., 1990.Hand preference and performance on unimanual and bimanual tasks in capuchin monkeys (Cebus apella). Journal of Comparative Psychology, 104: 275–282.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Goodall, J., 1986.The chimpanzees of Gombe: Patterns of behavior. Cambridge: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  13. Hamilton, W., Buskirk, R., & Buskirk, W., 1975.Defensive stoning by baboons. Nature, 256: 488–489.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Hauser, M.D., 1991.If you've got it, why not flaunt it? Monkeys with Broca's area but no syntactical structure to their vocal utterances. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 14: 564.

    Google Scholar 

  15. Hopkins, W.D., Bard, K.A., Jones, A., & Bales, S.L., 1993.Chimpanzee hand preference for throwing and infant cradling: Implications for the origins of human handedness. Current Anthropology, 34: 786–790.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Klüver, H., 1933.Behaviors mechanisms in monkeys. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

    Google Scholar 

  17. Klüver, H., 1937.Re-examination of implement-using behavior in a Cebus monkey after an interval of three years. Acta Psychologica, 2: 347–397.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. Knüsel, C.J., 1992.The throwing hypothesis and hominids origins. Human Evolution, 7: 1–7.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. McGrew, W.C., 1992.Chimpanzee material culture: Implications for human evolution. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  20. Moynihan, M., 1976.The New World primates. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  21. Oakley, K.P., 1964.Man the tool-maker. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

    Google Scholar 

  22. Parker, S.T. & Gibson, K.R., 1977.Object manipulation, tool use and sensorimotor intelligence as feeding adaptations in Cebus monkeys and great apes. Journal of Human Evolution, 6: 623–641.

    Google Scholar 

  23. Robinson, J., 1984.Syntactic structures in the vocalizations of wedge-capped capuchins, Cebus olivaceus. Behaviour, 90: 46–79.

    Google Scholar 

  24. Romanes, G., 1892.Animal Intelligence. New York: Appleton.

    Google Scholar 

  25. Stephan, H., 1972.Evolution of primate brains: a comparative anatomical investigation, In R. Tuttle, ed., The functional and evolutionary biology of primates, pp. 155–174. New York: Aldine-Atherton.

    Google Scholar 

  26. Visalberghi, E., 1990,Tool use in Cebus. Folia Primatologica, 54: 146–154.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  27. Westergaard, G.C., 1991.Hand preference in the use and manufacture of tools by tufted capuchin (Cebus apella) and lion-tailed macaque (Macaca silenus) monkeys. Journal of Comparative Psychology, 105: 172–176.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  28. Westergaard, G.C., 1992.Object manipulation and the use of tools by infant baboons. Journal of Comparative Psychology, 106: 398–403.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  29. Westergaard, G.C., 1993.Development of combinatorial manipulation in infant baboons. (Papio cynocephalus anubis). Journal of Comparative Psychology, 107: 34–38.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  30. 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.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  31. Westergaard, G.C. & Suomi, S.J., 1993.Hand preference in capuchin monkeys varies with age. Primates, 34: 295–299.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  32. Westergaard, G.C. & Suomi, S.J., in press a.Hand preference in the use of nut-cracking tools by tufted capuchin monkeys. Folia Primatologica.

  33. Westergaard, G.C. & Suomi, S.J., in press b.The use of probing tools by capuchin monkeys: Evidence for increased right-hand preference with age. International Journal of Primatology.

  34. Westergaard, G.C. & Suomi, S.J., in press c.The hierarchical complexity of combinatorial manipulation in capuchin monkeys (Cebus apella). American Journal of Primatology.

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Westergaard, G.C., Suomi, S.J. Aimed throwing of stones by tufted capuchin monkeys (Cebus apella). Hum. Evol. 9, 323–329 (1994). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02435518

Download citation

Key words

  • Capuchin
  • evolution
  • hominid
  • throwing
  • tool-use