Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Nut-cracking monkeys use shapes to strategize their use of tools

Date:
February 27, 2013
Source:
Public Library of Science
Summary:
Bearded capuchin monkeys deliberately place palm nuts in a stable position on a surface before trying to crack them open, revealing their capacity to use tactile information to improve tool use.

A bearded capuchin monkey cracks open a stably-placed palm nut with a stone for a hammer.
Credit: Barth Wright

Bearded capuchin monkeys deliberately place palm nuts in a stable position on a surface before trying to crack them open, revealing their capacity to use tactile information to improve tool use.

The results are published February 27 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Dorothy Fragaszy and colleagues from the University of Georgia.

The researchers analyzed the monkeys' tool-use skills by videotaping adult monkeys cracking palm nuts on a surface they used frequently for the purpose. They found that monkeys positioned the nuts flat side down more frequently than expected by random chance. When placing the nuts, the monkeys knocked the nuts on the surface a few times before releasing them, after which the nuts very rarely moved.

The researchers suggest that the monkeys may have learned to optimize this tool-use strategy by repeatedly knocking the nut to achieve the stable position prior to cracking it. They conclude that the monkeys' strategic placement of the nut reveals that the monkeys pay attention to the fit between the nut and the surface each time they place the nut, and adjust their actions accordingly.

In a parallel experiment, the scientists asked blindfolded people to perform the same action, positioning palm nuts on an anvil as if to crack them with a stone or hammer. Like the monkeys, the human participants also followed tactile cues to place the nut flat-side down on the anvil.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Public Library of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Dorothy M. Fragaszy, Qing Liu, Barth W. Wright, Angellica Allen, Callie Welch Brown, Elisabetta Visalberghi. Wild Bearded Capuchin Monkeys (Sapajus libidinosus) Strategically Place Nuts in a Stable Position during Nut-Cracking. PLoS ONE, 2013; 8 (2): e56182 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0056182

Cite This Page:

Public Library of Science. "Nut-cracking monkeys use shapes to strategize their use of tools." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 February 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130227183502.htm>.
Public Library of Science. (2013, February 27). Nut-cracking monkeys use shapes to strategize their use of tools. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130227183502.htm
Public Library of Science. "Nut-cracking monkeys use shapes to strategize their use of tools." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130227183502.htm (accessed August 29, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Friday, August 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) State health officials say testing has confirmed the presence of a killer amoeba in a water system serving three St. John the Baptist Parish towns. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Australian Sheep Gets Long Overdue Haircut

Raw: Australian Sheep Gets Long Overdue Haircut

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) Hoping to break the record for world's wooliest, Shaun the sheep came up 10 pounds shy with his fleece weighing over 50 pounds after being shorn for the first time in years. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Minds Blown: Scientists Develop Fish That Walk On Land

Minds Blown: Scientists Develop Fish That Walk On Land

Newsy (Aug. 28, 2014) Canadian scientists looking into the very first land animals took a fish out of water and forced it to walk. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Huge Ancient Wine Cellar Found In Israel

Huge Ancient Wine Cellar Found In Israel

Newsy (Aug. 28, 2014) An international team uncovered a large ancient wine celler that likely belonged to a Cannonite ruler. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins