Fieldwork in Tiete Ecological Park, Brazil.
2nd August,2006 - 20th September,2006
I conducted field experiments on social intelligence involved in tool
use by semi-wild capuchin monkeys in Tiete Ecological Park, Brazil. I
first visited the University of Sao Paulo to discuss research plan with
Dr. Ottoni who has done an extensive study on capuchin tool use in the
park. I then conducted preliminary observation and collected basic data on
social rank and tool use patterns for refining experimental conditions.
Based on these basic data, I set up an experiment at one of the monkeys'
most preferred sites of tool use in the park. The experiment consisted of
several conditions where monkeys were able to use one or more sets of
stone tools, either alone or with other monkeys. I recorded the monkey's
choice of stone tools and saw if this was influenced by the number of
monkeys at the site (i.e. alone or with other monkeys), the social rank of
other monkeys, and the arrangement of stone tools. The results suggest
that the monkeys' choice of stone tools was socially influenced, by the
presence of other monkeys and by their social rank, when the physical
factors of the tools were controlled. Further investigation on social
value of stone tools is now in progress.
capuchin monkey using stone tool
Tiete Ecological Park