Top Stories

Monkeys and the use of stone tools: study

Thailand’s monkeys may challenge the history of human evolution with their nut-cracking abilities.

New research Germany’s Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology describes a stone tool resembling an ape artifact in Thailand, which may suggest that the first use of stone tools by humans was not intentional.

The researchers studied the long-tailed macaques In Thailand’s Phang Nga National Park, where stone tools have been found to crack hard-shelled nuts.

Monkeys were often seen breaking hammerstones and anvils to get to the nut, causing the broken stones to scatter around the landscape.

Compared to the earliest records of stone tools, many of these “accidental” broken stones appear to resemble the stone tools often found at the earliest archaeological sites in East Africa.

“The fact that these macaques use stone tools to process nuts is not surprising, as they also use tools to access various shellfish,” said lead author Tomos Proffitt, a researcher at the Max Planck Institute. in a press release. “What’s interesting is that in doing so, they accidentally create their own significant archaeological record, which is partially indistinguishable from some hominin artifacts.

Before this discovery, it was believed that sharp-edged tools were the first stone tools deliberately made by humans, but this research challenges this, as well as the understanding of one aspect of human evolution.

“The ability to make sharp stone flakes is seen as a key point in hominin evolution, and understanding how and when this happened is a huge question, usually explored through the study of past artifacts and fossils. “Our study shows that stone tool making is not unique to humans and our ancestors,” Proffitt said.

By: Smithsonian Institutionthe first stone tool making was at least 2.6 million years ago and is thought to have been by early humans.

This new research involving monkeys, however, may provide new insights into the possible earlier archaeological record of the first stone tools.

“This study, along with previous ones published by our group, opens the door to discovering such an archeological signature in the future,” said Lydia Luntz, senior author of the study and head of Max’s Technology Primate Research Group. Planck Institute. “This discovery shows how living primates can help researchers investigate the origins and evolution of tool use in our own lineage.”

#Monkeys #stone #tools #study

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button