, Volume 59, Issue 4, pp 385–394 | Cite as

Stone tool use by wild capuchin monkeys (Sapajus libidinosus) at Serra das Confusões National Park, Brazil

  • Tiago FalóticoEmail author
  • Paulo Henrique M. Coutinho
  • Carolina Q. Bueno
  • Henrique P. Rufo
  • Eduardo B. Ottoni
Original Article


Capuchin monkeys (Sapajus spp.) are proficient tool users, and the use of stone tools occurs in several populations, mostly to crack open encased foods. Two well-studied Brazilian populations of Sapajus libidinosus inhabit Fazenda Boa Vista and Serra da Capivara National Park and present different behavioral sets regarding tool use. Serra das Confusões National Park (SCoNP) lies between those sites, but little is known about the capuchin monkey population that lives there. To begin unraveling the capuchin behavior in this area, we conducted a brief survey for tool use sites. We found indirect evidence that capuchin monkeys at SCoNP use stone hammers to crack open at least four species of seeds and fruits. Plant reproductive parts there are processed with stone tools in a similar pattern to the other sites. Further study is needed to directly observe tool use by capuchin monkeys at SCoNP, verify the occurrence of other possible types of tool use in this population, and thus fully compare their tool use repertoire to that of other populations.


Tradition Culture Cebus libidinosus Nut-cracking Percussive technology Lithics 



This research was authorized by the Instituto Chico Mendes de Conservação da Biodiversidade (ICMBio authorization no. 37615-6). We thank park chief José W.P.L. Ribeiro (Mitinha) for logistical support, Bruno C. Polverini for taxonomic identification of the vegetation samples, Gergely A.J. Szabó for rock type identification, and Noemi Spagnoletti, Michael D. Gumert and William C. McGrew for helpful comments that improved the manuscript. The study was funded by grants from São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) to TF (2013/05219-0) and EBO (2014/04818-0), and from CNPq to EBO (PQ, Aux. 443309/2014-0).

Supplementary material

10329_2018_660_MOESM1_ESM.xlsx (20 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (XLSX 20 kb)


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Copyright information

© Japan Monkey Centre and Springer Japan KK, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Experimental Psychology, Institute of PsychologyUniversity of São PauloSão PauloBrazil
  2. 2.Neotropical Primates Research GroupSão PauloBrazil

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