Macaques learn to crack open oil palm nuts with rocks in just

Macaques learn to crack open oil palm nuts with rocks in just

first_imgMacaca fascicularis at Ngarai Sianok, Bukittinggi, West Sumatra. Credit: Sakurai Midori /Wikipedia More information: Lydia V. Luncz et al. Technological Response of Wild Macaques (Macaca fascicularis) to Anthropogenic Change, International Journal of Primatology (2017). DOI: 10.1007/s10764-017-9985-6AbstractAnthropogenic disturbances have a detrimental impact on the natural world; the vast expansion of palm oil monocultures is one of the most significant agricultural influences. Primates worldwide consequently have been affected by the loss of their natural ecosystems. Long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascilularis) in Southern Thailand have, however, learned to exploit oil palm nuts using stone tools. Using camera traps, we captured the stone tool behavior of one macaque group in Ao Phang-Nga National Park. Line transects placed throughout an abandoned oil palm plantation confirmed a high abundance of nut cracking sites. Long-tailed macaques previously have been observed using stone tools to harvest shellfish along the coasts of Thailand and Myanmar. The novel nut processing behavior indicates the successful transfer of existing lithic technology to a new food source. Such behavioral plasticity has been suggested to underlie cultural behavior in animals, suggesting that long-tailed macaques have potential to exhibit cultural tendencies. The use of tools to process oil palm nuts across multiple primate species allows direct comparisons between stone tool using nonhuman primates living in anthropogenic environments. Journal information: International Journal of Primatology Explore further Monkeys in Brazil ‘have used stone tools for hundreds of years at least’ (Phys.org)—A team of researchers from the U.K., Thailand and Singapore has discovered that long-tailed macaques living in southern Thailand have learned to crack open oil palm nuts using rocks in just 13 years. The group reports on their observations and what they believe the observed behavior suggests about the evolution of tool use in primates in their paper published in the International Journal of Primatology.last_img

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