Capuchin monkeys use only proto-tools to crack jatobá hard-shelled fruits in an urban environment

Claudio Herbert Nina e Silva, Olhiga Ivanoff, Eliane Andreia dos Santos Oliveira


The goal of this study was to describe a nut-cracking behavior by six adult bearded capuchin monkeys of a group living on an urban protected area called Bosque Bougainville in the city of Goiânia, central Brazil. The nut-cracking events, occurring with jatobá (Hymenaea stygonocarpa Mart.), were recorded in digital video and classified in terms of behavioral categories of nut-cracking: proto-tool use and tool-use. The nut-cracking behavior was also quantified and analyzed by means of TOTE motor unit categories. All jatobá nut-cracking events records were of the proto-tool use category. The successful jatobá nut-cracking (complete TOTE motor units) occurred in most of the recorded events for all animals. The absence of tool-use records was explained by the ecological circumstances at the Bosque Bougainville and by the high level of efficacy of proto-tool used in jatobá nut-cracking.

Keywords: foraging, tools, motor control, animal cognition.

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