International Journal of Human Diversity and Evolution
Coverage: 1923-1941 (Vols. I-XIX) & 1962-2023 (Vols. 1-61)
ISSN 0323-1119 (Print)
ISSN 2570-9127 (Online)
Journal Impact Factor 0.2
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'Urbani B, Garber PA, 2002: A Stone in Their Hands... Are Monkeys Tool Users?. Anthropologie (Brno) 40, 2: 183-191'.
This paper reviews the literature on spontaneous cases of ”tool use” in captive, semi-free, and wild New and Old World monkeys. These data are evaluated to determine whether the presently available evidence supports the assumption that monkeys naturally or spontaneously use tools, and understand how the "reported tool" functions in solving a task. Following Panger's (1998, 1999) distinction between tool-using and object-using, we found extremely limited evidence for spontaneous ”tool use” in monkeys. The overwhelming number of published reports were associated with species of three primate genera, Cebus, Macaca and Papio. Moreover, the majority of observations described in the literature as ”tool use” are examples of object use. Considering the extremely small number of reported "tool-using" events and the fact that typically only 1 or 2 members of a group have been observed to manipulate objects as tools, we conclude, (1) the presently available evidence does not support the contention that monkeys naturally use tools, and (2) in those cases when monkeys are reported to use tools it remains unclear from the animals' behaviour the degree to which they understand how the tool functioned (casual knowledge) in accomplishing the task.
Tool use - Object manipulation - Primate cognition - Monkeys - Problem-solving

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