International Journal of Primatology

, Volume 22, Issue 3, pp 347–358

Semifree-ranging Tufted Capuchins (Cebus apella) Spontaneously Use Tools to Crack Open Nuts

  • Eduardo B. Ottoni
  • Massimo Mannu
Article

Abstract

Naturalistic studies on tool use by nonhuman primates have focused almost exclusively on Old World monkeys or hominoids. We studied the cracking of Syagrus nuts with the aid of stones by a group of semifree-ranging capuchins living in a reforested area (Tietê Ecological Park, São Paulo, Brazil). Our data are from direct observation and from mapping nut-cracking site utilization. All adults, subadults and juveniles (plus one infant) crack nuts, but individual differences in frequency and proficiency are marked. Juveniles do most of the nut-cracking, but adults are, on average, more efficient; the frequency of inept stone manipulation decreases with age. About 10% of the nut-cracking episodes were watched by other individuals—mostly infants and juveniles, suggesting a role for observational learning, even if restricted to stimulus enhancement.

capuchin foraging tool use 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

REFERENCES

  1. Anderson, J. R. (1990). Use of objects as hammers to open nuts by capuchins monkeys (Cebus apella). Folia Primatologica, 54(3-4), 138-145.Google Scholar
  2. Boinski, S. (1988). Use of a club by a wild white-faced capuchin (Cebus capucinus) to attack a venomous snake (Bothrops asper). American Journal of Primatology, 54, 86-99.Google Scholar
  3. Chevalier-Skolnikoff, S. (1990). Tool use by wild Cebus monkeys at Santa Rosa National Park, Costa Rica. Primates, 31(3), 375-383.Google Scholar
  4. Cooper, L. R. & Harlow, H. F. (1961). Note on a Cebus monkeys' use of a stick as a weapon. Psychological Reports, 8, 418.Google Scholar
  5. Erickson, C. J., Nowicki, S., Dollar, L. & Goehring, N. (1998) Percussive foraging: stimuli for prey location by aye-ayes (Daubentonia madagascariensis). International Journal of Primatology, 19(1), 111-122.Google Scholar
  6. Fernandes, M. E. B. (1991). Tool use and predation of oysters (Crassostrea rhizophorae) by a tufted capuchin, Cebus apella apella, in brackish water mangrove swamp. Primates, 32(4), 529-531.Google Scholar
  7. Ferreira, R. G., Cavalcanti, G. C. & Souto, A. (1996). A utilização espontànea de objeto como instrumento em macaco-prego (Cebus apella) [Spontaneous use of objects as tools by capuchins]. Anais de Etologia, 14, 385.Google Scholar
  8. Fragaszy, D. M. & Adams-Curtis, L. E. (1997). Developmental changes in manipulation in tufted capuchins (Cebus apella) from birth through 2 years and their relation to foraging and weaning. Journal of Comparative Psychology, 111(2), 201-211.Google Scholar
  9. Inoue-Nakamura, N. & Matsuzawa, T. (1997). Development of stone tool use by wild chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). Journal of Comparative Psychology, 111(2), 159-173.Google Scholar
  10. Izawa, K. & Mizuno, A. (1977). Palm-fruit cracking behavior of wild black-capped capuchin (Cebus apella). Primates, 18(4), 773-792.Google Scholar
  11. King, B. J. (1991) Social information transfer in monkeys, apes and hominids. Yearbook of Physical Anthropology, 34, 97-115.Google Scholar
  12. Langguth, A. & Alonso, C. (1997). Capuchin monkeys in the Caatinga: tool use and food habits during drought. Neotropical Primates, 5(3), 77-78.Google Scholar
  13. Mannu, M. & Ottoni, E. B. (1996). Observações preliminares das técnicas de forrageamento e uso espontâneo de ferramentas por um grupo de macacos-prego (Cebus apella) em condições de semi-cativeiro [Preliminary observations on foraging techniques and tool use by a semi-captive capuchin group]. Anais de Etologia, 14, 384.Google Scholar
  14. Martin, P. & Bateson, P. (1993). Measuring behaviour-an introdutory guide. (2nd ed.). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  15. Matsuzawa, T. (1994). Field experiments on use of stone tools by chimpanzees in the wild. In R. W. Wrangham, W. C. McGrew, F. B. M. de Waal, & P. G. Heltne (Eds.), Chimpanzee Cultures (pp. 351-370). Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  16. McGrew, W. C. (1992). Chimpanzee material culture: implications for human evolution. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  17. Perondi, M. A. M., Izar, P. & Ottoni, E. B. (1995). Uso de ferramentas por macacos-prego (Cebus apella) em condições de semicativeiro: observações preliminares [Tool use in capuchin monkeys under semi-captivity conditions: preliminary observations]. Anais de Etologia, XII, 416.Google Scholar
  18. Phillips, K. A. (1998). Tool use in wild capuchin monkeys (Cebus albifrons trnitatis). American Journal of Primatology, 46, 259-261.Google Scholar
  19. Rocha, V. J., Reis, N. R. & Sekiama, M. L. (1996). Predação de sementes de Syagrus romanzof-fiana por Cebus apella através da utilização de “ferramentas”, na região de Londrina-PR [Predation of S. romanzoffiana nuts by C. apella by means of “tool” use in the area of Londrina, PR]. Resumos do XXI Congresso Brasileiro de Zoologia, 217.Google Scholar
  20. Struhsaker, T. T. & Leland, L. (1977). Palm-nut smashing by Cebus apella apella in Colombia. Biotropica, 9(2), 124-126.Google Scholar
  21. Urbani, B. (1998). An early report on tool use by neotropical primates. Neotropical Primates, 6(4), 123-124.Google Scholar
  22. Visalberghi, E. (1987). Acquisition of nut-cracking behaviour by 2 capuchin monkeys (Cebus apella). Folia Primatologica, 49, 168-181.Google Scholar
  23. Visalberghi, E. (1988). Responsiveness to objects in two social groups of tufted capuchin monkeys (Cebus apella). American Journal of Primatology, 15, 349-360.Google Scholar
  24. Visalberghi, E. (1990). Tool use in Cebus. Folia Primatologica, 54, 146-154.Google Scholar
  25. Visalberghi, E., Fragaszy, D. M. & Savage-Rumbaugh, S. (1995). Performance in a tool-using task by common chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes), bonobos (Pan paniscus), an orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus), and capuchin monkeys (Cebus apella). Journal of Comparative Psychology, 109(1), 52-60.Google Scholar
  26. Westergaard, G. C. & Fragaszy, D. M. (1987). The manufacture and use of tools by capuchin monkeys (Cebus apella). Journal of Comparative Psychology, 101(2), 159-168.Google Scholar
  27. Westergaard, G. C. & Suomi, S. J. (1993). Use of a tool-set by capuchins monkeys. Primates, 34(4), 459-462.Google Scholar
  28. Westergaard, G. C. (1994). The subsistence technology of capuchins. International Journal of Primatology, 15(6), 899-906.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eduardo B. Ottoni
    • 1
  • Massimo Mannu
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Experimental Psychology—Institute of PsychologyUniversity of São PauloSão PauloBrazil

Personalised recommendations