Oldest Non-Human Stone Tools Outside Africa

Monkey, Capuchin, Tool, NatGeo

A capuchin monkey in Brazil’s Serra da Capivara National Park cracks open nuts with a stone tool. Only a handful of non-human primates use stone tools.

An archaeological site in the Brazilian savanna has revealed the oldest record of non-human stone tool use found outside of Africa: centuries-old stone hammers and anvils wielded by hungry capuchin monkeys.

The rocks show that for at least 700 years, bearded capuchin monkeys (Sapajus libidinosus
) in Brazil’s Serra da Capivara National Park have smashed fresh cashews to peel off their caustic, unappetizing husks. The find confirms the behavior’s longtime importance to the area’s capuchins—which seem to have used the technique for a hundred generations—and adds vital nuance to the history of tool use in non-human primates …

What Does It Take to Become a Stone Tool User?

The trove of tools, described on Monday in Current Biology, also stands to help scientists understand the bafflingly scattershot distribution of tool use among primates. Only a handful of non-human primate genera use hand tools—including chimpanzees, bearded capuchins, and long-tailed macaques—and scientists have yet to identify exactly why those species, and not others, took up tools … read more –> http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/07/capuchins-monkeys-stone-tools-archaeology/?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=Social&utm_content=link_fb20160711news-monkeyarchaeology&utm_campaign=Content&sf30714755=1

 

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