Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science

Living Edition
| Editors: Todd K. Shackelford, Viviana A. Weekes-Shackelford


  • Ivo Jacobs
  • Mathias Osvath
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_3155-1


A tool used simultaneously with a second tool to increase the efficiency or effectiveness of the second tool, where the first tool (the metatool) acts directly on the second, without being used in the manufacture of the second tool. (Shumaker et al. 2011)


A chimpanzee searches the tropical forest of Bossou, Guinea, for suitable stones. She has collected oil-palm nuts, which can only be opened with tools. Having localized a large tree root, she places a nut on it and strikes it with a stone held in her hand. This is called pound or hammer tool use, which amplifies the force exerted on the nut through the use of a stone tool. However, her nut-cracking attempt fails because the wood is too soft. She therefore looks for a heavy, flat rock, which she puts on the ground to serve as an anvil. In contrast to the root, this is a tool because she directly manipulates it prior to use and is responsible for its effective orientation. Together, the hammer and anvil form a too...


Hermit Crab Nonhuman Animal Tool Composite Hierarchical Tree Structure Stone Hammer 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Biro, D., Carvalho, S., & Matsuzawa, T. (2010). Tools, traditions, and technologies: Interdisciplinary approaches to chimpanzee nut-cracking. In E. V. Lonsdorf, S. R. Ross, & T. Matsuzawa (Eds.), The mind of the chimpanzee: Ecological and experimental perspectives (pp. 141–155). Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  2. Carvalho, S., Cunha, E., Sousa, C., & Matsuzawa, T. (2008). Chaînes opératoires and resource-exploitation strategies in chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) nut cracking. Journal of Human Evolution, 55, 148–163. doi:10.1016/j.jhevol.2008.02.005.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Hayashi, M. (2015). Perspectives on object manipulation and action grammar for percussive actions in primates. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, 370, 20140350. doi:10.1098/rstb.2014.0350.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Matsuzawa, T. (1991). Nesting cups and metatools in chimpanzees. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 14, 570–571. doi:10.1017/S0140525X00071417.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Matsuzawa, T. (1996). Chimpanzee intelligence in nature and in captivity: Isomorphism of symbol use and tool use. In W. C. McGrew, L. F. Marchant, & T. Nishida (Eds.), Great ape societies (pp. 196–209). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi:10.1017/cbo9780511752414.017.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Matsuzawa, T. (2001). Primate origins of human cognition and behavior. Hong Kong: Springer. doi:10.1007/978-4-431-09423-4.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Matsuzawa, T., Humle, T., & Sugiyama, Y. (2011). The chimpanzees of Bossou and Nimba. Tokyo: Springer. doi:10.1007/978-4-431-53921-6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Ross, D. (1971). Protection of hermit crabs (Dardanus spp.) from octopus by commensal sea anemones (Calliactis spp.). Nature, 230, 401–402. doi:10.1038/230401a0.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Shumaker, R. W., Walkup, K. R., & Beck, B. B. (2011). Animal tool behavior: The use and manufacture of tools by animals. Baltimore: JHU Press.Google Scholar
  10. Whiten, A., Goodall, J., McGrew, W. C., Nishida, T., Reynolds, V., Sugiyama, Y., Tutin, C. E. G., Wrangham, R. W., & Boesch, C. (1999). Cultures in chimpanzees. Nature, 399, 682–685. doi:10.1038/21415.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Lund UniversityLundSweden

Section editors and affiliations

  • Catherine Salmon
    • 1
  1. 1.University of RedlandsRedlandsUSA