Bearded capuchin monkeys may be the new revelation in the scientific community, as researchers have recently discovered that the animals can create tools. What’s more, there is the suspicion that the ancient stone tools assigned to the early humans might not have been crafted by them, but monkeys. Scientists have recently observed the behavior of the Brazilian monkeys and think about the implication of the process.
The recent discovery is assigned to a group of scientists who noticed the habits of bearded capuchin monkeys in the wild. The tiny primates create stone flakes, which are similar to raw, early stone daggers used by humanoids. The capuchins create the tools with no intention of using them as a weapon. What they do is smash rocks against each other, and they obtain both a sharp rock and rock dust.
The scientists who observed that bearded capuchin monkeys in the wild believe that the ritual must be of high importance. Initially, they thought that the capuchins were trying to make noise to drive enemies away. So the habit of smashing rocks could be a sort of defense practice, or even a sample of aggressive behavior.
However, the researchers also took into consideration the types of rocks that the bearded capuchin monkeys use. They usually carve quartz and lick the dust and the inside of the sharp rocks. Some specialists believe that it is a way of clearing their digestive system from parasites and microbes.
Monkeys are known to be intelligent creatures. There are recordings of chimpanzees using tools. Bearded capuchin monkeys also use tools for cracking nuts, but smashing the quartz rocks has no such purpose. They create objects which are very similar to sharp stone knives, but they don’t use them. They only benefit from the dust and the inside of the rock.
Specialists also believe that the monkeys can eat the lichen which they can find inside the rocks. However, their habit of smashing rocks is undeniable.
Nevertheless, anthropologists state that the tools originating from bearded capuchin monkeys shouldn’t be mistaken for those created by the early humans. Our first ancestors have a more detailed technique about carving their hunting tools. Moreover, the method was improved with time, and this is a feature that no other species shares with humans, despite their ability to use tools.
What do you think about the capuchins’ amazing ability to create such tools?
Image courtesy of: Wikipedia