From Handling Stones and Nuts to Tool-Use

Part of the Primatology Monographs book series


The developmental process of nut-cracking skill in the wild chimpanzee community of Bossou was reviewed from the perspective of object manipulation. The infant chimpanzees required more than 3.5 years to acquire the skill of cracking nuts using stone tools. During development, infants showed more complex manipulation: from a single action on a single object to successive or simultaneous actions on multiple objects. Although the basic action patterns were already observed at the age of 1.5 years, it was difficult for these infants to perform the actions in an appropriate sequence to achieve the goal of cracking nuts. The long-term changes of manipulative behavior after first success are summarized and discussed in relationship to cognitive development in chimpanzees.


Capuchin Monkey Object Manipulation Wild Chimpanzee Human Child Physical Causality 
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The study was supported by grants from the Ministry of Education, Science, and Culture in Japan (#19700245 to Misato Hayashi and #16002001 to Tetsuro Matsuzawa) and from the Benesse Corporation. Special thanks are offered to Tetsuro Matsuzawa, Dora Biro, Claudia Sousa, Tatyana Humle, Susana Carbalho, Etsuko Nogami, Mari Hirosawa, and the guides of Bossou for their great advice and support in collecting data at the outdoor laboratory of Bossou.


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Copyright information

© Springer 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Primate Research InstituteKyoto UniversityInuyamaJapan
  2. 2.Showa Women’s UniversitySetagaya-kuJapan

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