A group of monkeys just entered the stone age in Panama 3 years ago

A group of monkeys just entered the stone age in Panama

They're making moves

A gang of monkeys in Panama have become the fourth non-human primates to be spotted using stone tools to break nuts and shellfish.


The group of males capuchins were spotted on Jicarón island, a small island off the coast of the country.

Not all the capuchins on the island have begun using tools yet, Jicarón island is one of three islands that make up the Coiba National Park and only a small group of monkeys on that specific island have so far begun displaying the behaviour.

“We were surprised that this behaviour appears to be geographically localised,” Brendan Barrett at the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology told New Scientist.

The monkeys were first spotted using the stone tools back in 2004 - but it took over a decade for scientists to capture evidence using video cameras last year. Coconuts, crabs, and snails were all cracked open by the capuchins using rocks by the mini monkeys.

They are the first animals of their genus that have been seen using stone tools - following in the footsteps of another group of South America capuchins, as well as macaques in Thailand and chimpanzees in West Africa.

You can watch them for yourself here: