Tool use has been observed in capuchin monkeys both in captivity and in their natural environments.
Wild capuchin monkeys in many areas use stone hammers and anvils to crack nuts and encased seeds. They transport stones and nuts to an anvil for this purpose. You can learn a bit more about this and watch them do this in the video below!
Capuchins also use stones to excavate tubers and sticks to flush prey from inside rock crevices.
In a captive environment, capuchins readily insert a stick into a tube containing viscous food that clings to the stick, which they then extract and lick. Capuchins also use sticks to push food from the centre of a tube, retrieving the food when it reaches the far end. They also use sticks as rakes to sweep objects or food toward themselves.
Picture Credit: Nordelch (Wiki Commons User)
Picture Credit: Nordelch (Wiki Commons UReferences
- Westergaard G. C et al. 1998. Why some capuchin monkeys (Cebus apella) use probing tools (and others do not). Journal of Comparative Psychology 112: 207-211.
- Visalberghi E, et al. 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: 52-60.
- Cummins-Sebree S. E and Fragaszy D 2005 Choosing and using tools: Capuchins (Cebus apella) use a different metric than tamarins (Saguinus oedipus). Journal of Comparative Psychology 119: 210-219.
- Fragaszy D, et al. 2004 Wild capuchin monkeys (Cebus libidinosus) use anvils and stone pounding tools. American Journal of Primatology 64: 359-366.
- Ottoni E. B and Izar P 2008. Capuchin monkey tool use: Overview and implications. Evolutionary Anthropology 17: 171-187.
- Visalberghi E, et al. 2009 Selection of effective stone tools by wild bearded capuchin monkeys. Current Biology 3: 213-217.
- Mannu M and Ottoni E. B 2009 The enhanced tool-kit of two groups of wild bearded capuchin monkeys in the Caatinga: tool making, associative use, and secondary tools. American Journal of Primatology 3: 242-251.