These monkeys are 3,000 years into their own 'Stone Age'
While capuchins won't use tools like us any time soon, the species now “has its own individual archaeological record,” scientists report.
For capuchin monkeys at Brazil’s Serra da Capivara National Park, tool use is a tradition going back millennia: A new study finds that these primates have used stone tools to process their food for the past 3,000 years, making it the oldest non-human site of its kind outside of Africa.
The site, described today in Nature Ecology & Evolution, contains layers of rounded stone cobbles that capuchins in the area produced over time to crack open seeds and nuts. Other non-human tool sites have been documented in and out of Africa; the oldest one known, a chimpanzee site in Côte d'Ivoire, is more than 4,000 years old. But Serra da Capivara’s tools alone show long-term variation, a milestone for