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RE: So how intelligent were troodontids?

On Sat, 20 Dec 2003, ekaterina A wrote:
> --- "Thomas R. Holtz, Jr." <tholtz@geol.umd.edu>
> wrote:
> > Also, let's not forget (like a recent Linux
> > commercial does) that chimps and
> > bonobos are perfectly good tool users (both wood and
> > stone, as recently
> > discovered), and the human ability to create tools
> > other than nests almost
> > certainly evolved after then gorilla - (Pan +
> > Hominini) split, but before
> > the divergence of the Pan-Homo lineages.
> But then were there not some recent reports of tool
> use in the Orang? The most parsimonious explanation
> would be that basic tool use evolved lower down in the
> great Ape tree.

Well, not all THAT recent. 1994 or so. You may be thinking of the
annoucements earlier this year about orang culture (ignoring,
for the moment, the considerable overlap between the two

Now, if you want tool use evolving lower down in the great Ape
tree, you may have to go back farther:

The monkeys, brown capuchins (Cebus apella), tool around in a remote dry
forest in northeastern Brazil. After  laying tough-shelled palm nuts on
sandstone slabs, the monkeys stand upsometimes using their tails for
supportraise rocks perhaps half their own weight head high, then slam the
nuts. Not content with any old hammer, the monkeys will haul a favorite
rock to the "anvil" site, says photographer Pete Oxford. They also place
nuts in small pits from previous hammering and sniff them between strikes
to see if the kernel is exposed yet. Older capuchins are the best nut
crackers, but young ones also try their hand.

"These monkeys are acting in ways we once thought only apes did," says
primatologist Dorothy Fragaszy of the University of Georgia, who plans to
study the monkeys' tool use in detail.

And since capuchins are only distantly related to apes, she says, their
ability must have evolved independently.