, Volume 50, Issue 3, pp 269–272

Tool use in wild spider monkeys (Ateles geoffroyi)

Short Communication


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.


Tool use Ateles geoffroyi Cognition 

Copyright information

© Japan Monkey Centre and Springer 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyIowa State UniversityAmesUSA
  2. 2.Ecology and Evolutionary Biology ProgramIowa State UniversityAmesUSA
  3. 3.Department of AnthropologyThe Ohio State UniversityColumbusUSA

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