Tool use in wild spider monkeys (Ateles geoffroyi)
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- Lindshield, S.M. & Rodrigues, M.A. Primates (2009) 50: 269. doi:10.1007/s10329-009-0144-3
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Tool use has been observed in a variety of primate species, including both New and Old World monkeys. However, such reports mainly address the most prodigious tool users and frequently limit discussions of tool-using behavior to a foraging framework. Here, we present observations of novel and spontaneous tool use in wild black-handed spider monkeys (Ateles geoffroyi), where female spider monkeys used detached sticks in a self-directed manner. We introduce factors to explain Ateles tool-using abilities and limitations, and encourage the synthesis of relevant research in order to gain insight into the cognitive abilities of spider monkeys and the evolution of tool-using behaviors in primates.