Complex tool manufacture by a wild bonnet macaque, Macaca radiata

Publication Type:

Journal Articles


Anindya Sinha


Folia Primatologica, Volume 68, p.23–25 (1997)



Bonnet macaque, Cognition, Field study, India, Insight, Macaca radiata, Tool manufacture, Tool use


Tool use has been broadly defined as the external employment of an unattached inanimate object to alter the form, position, or condition of another object, another organism, or the user itself [1]. Tool manufacture has been considered to be a modification of the physical properties of an inanimate object so that it can be used more efficiently as a tool. Tool use has been widely, though sporadically, reported for all the families of nonhuman primates, except the Callitrichidae and the prosimians [1]. Authentic examples of tool manufacture, however, are rare in monkeys (with the notable exception of the New World genus Cebus, the capuchins, in captivity) and appear to be restricted principally to the great apes (chimpanzees, orang-utans). Amongst the Old World monkeys, only lion-tailed macaques (Macaca silenus) in captive social groups have been observed to manufacture tools by detaching sticks from larger branches to extract food from the narrow openings of enclosed containers.


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