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Behavioral traditions and problem-solving in tool use contexts by bearded capuchin monkeys (Cebus libidinosus)

Grant number: 10/16731-6
Support Opportunities:Regular Research Grants
Duration: April 01, 2011 - March 31, 2013
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Zoology - Animal Behavior
Principal Investigator:Eduardo Benedicto Ottoni
Grantee:Eduardo Benedicto Ottoni
Host Institution: Instituto de Psicologia (IP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated researchers: Raphael Moura Cardoso


The spontaneous use of tools by wild populations of tufted capuchin monkeys (Cebus spp) has been studied by our research team in two sites in the State of Piauí, Brazil. In Fazenda Boa Vista (FBV), we have run observational and experimental studies on the use of lithic tools for nut cracking, a behavior that has been verified to be typical of capuchin populations in savannah-like environments such as the cerrado and the caatinga. In the population from the Serra da Capivara National Park (SC), on the other hand, we have observed the employment of a unique, broader tool kit, with a more diversified use of lithic tools plus the use of sticks as probes to access invertebrate nests or to dislodge small vertebrates from rock cracks. Since some years of observations indicate that the use of stick probes is absent in the FBV population, these two populations, together, constitute very good study targets to examine questions related to the role of individual and collective experience on the solving of problems involving the use of intrusion tools (probes). The aim of the present project is to compare the performance of the individuals in two groups, one from each population (where only one of them exhibits what seems to be a behavioral tradition of probe tool use), in a series of tasks involving the use of such tools. In the case of the FBV group, the study will allow us - if the animals actually solve at least the initial task - to follow the innovation processes and, eventually, the subsequent dissemination of a new behavioral tradition. (AU)

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
CARDOSO, RAPHAEL MOURA; OTTONI, EDUARDO B.. The effects of tradition on problem solving by two wild populations of bearded capuchin monkeys in a probing task. BIOLOGY LETTERS, v. 12, n. 11, . (10/16731-6)

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