Monkeys Are Creating Stone Tools Thought To Be Made By Only Humans

Posted: Oct 20 2016, 8:08am CDT | by , in News | Latest Science News

 

Monkeys are Creating Stone Tools Thought to be Made by Only Humans
Wild-bearded capuchin monkey in Serra da Capivara National Park, Brazil, unintentionally creating fractured flakes and cores. Credit: Michael Haslam/ Primate Archaeology Group
  • Monkeys can make Tools just like Humans although on a Primitive Level
 

It seems to be the case that monkeys can make tools just like humans although on a primitive level.

Scientists have observed how certain monkeys in Brazil break stones in order to make tools that resemble the primitive flint knives made by prehistoric man.

The only difference seems to be that these tools are not intentionally made. Instead they are the byproduct of the monkeys trying to extract minerals and lichen from the rocks.

The research effort was published in the journal Nature by title "Wild monkeys flake stone tools". 

Up until now most archaeologists had thought that such tool-making skills were a unique feature of early man. Yet now it seems that these experts will have to revise their data. That is because capuchin monkeys have been seen to copy such uniquely human behavior. 

Researchers from several educational institutions ratified this study. While human beings made such tools for cutting up the animals they hunted, it was not clear why these monkeys made them in the first place. Moreover, the monkeys did not really do any job of butchery with the tools. 

Yet this study does prove one thing. That is that this is not just a feature unique to humans. It is copied by several other species especially monkeys. Even modern monkeys and apes can produce these chips and flakes of stone which seem like weapons in their makeup.

For one thing, this study shows that there is no criterion of a certain level of cognitive development that is necessary for the making of stone tools.

Even monkeys can make them at the drop of a hat. Thus there is nothing special about the whole procedure. The monkeys often tend to use the stones for percussion purposes. 

After these monkeys struck the stones on rocks, they managed to chip off certain pieces of them which resembled butchery tools.

The capuchins were later on seen playing around with the chipped off tool-like pieces of stone. Maybe this mirrors what happened in the mists of prehistoric times with humans.

What started out as an accident was repeated enough times to become a part of the primitive culture. Over 111 fragmented rocks were examined by the research team. The monkeys that showed this behavior of tool-making included the bearded capuchins and the Japanese macaques. 

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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