My photo is the opening image of "Wild Planet", volume of the collection published by New Scientist!

Cracking this nut will take strength, skill and a grasp of physics – and the capuchin is equal to the task.

The monkeys choose nuts that are easiest to crack. An individual finds a groove in a log where one fits snugly, placing the flattest surface of the nut face down so that it’s stable. Then it chooses a heavy stone, raises it above its head and hammers the nut with force.

The behaviour is considered one of the most complex forms of tool use by non-human species, putting them on a par with chimpanzees.

This alpha male, weighing 4.2 kilograms, is using a 3.5 kg stone to break into a piassava nut in Fazenda Boa Vista, Brazil.

He was photographed by Luca Antonio Marino, a biology student at Roma Tre University in Rome, Italy, who studied the foraging strategies of wild capuchins for his master’s thesis.


​Sam Wong - New Scientist



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