Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science

Living Edition
| Editors: Todd K. Shackelford, Viviana A. Weekes-Shackelford

Nonhuman Tool Use

  • Ivo JacobsEmail author
  • Mathias Osvath
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_3152-1



The external employment of an unattached or manipulable attached environmental object to alter more efficiently the form, position, or condition of another object, another organism, or the user itself, when the user holds and directly manipulates the tool during or prior to use and is responsible for the proper and effective orientation of the tool. (Shumaker et al. 2011, p. 5)


Nonhuman tool use has long been a source of much fascination. Claims of human uniqueness have often revolved around the ability to use and manufacture tools. When Jane Goodall discovered the extent of tool use by wild chimpanzees in the 1960s, Louis Leakey commented that “now we must redefine tool, redefine man, or accept chimpanzees as humans” (Goodall 1998, p. 2184). After countless observations of animals using and manufacturing tools, it is now evident that “man the tool-maker” (Oakley 1956) is an...


Stone Tool Capuchin Monkey Trap Tube American Crow Caledonian Crow 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Lund UniversityLundSweden

Section editors and affiliations

  • Catherine Salmon
    • 1
  1. 1.University of RedlandsRedlandsUSA