A group of white-faced capuchin monkeys in Panama has begun using stone tools to feed themselves, thus entering their own Stone Age. They’re the second group of monkeys that researchers have observed using tools in the past two years, providing intriguing insights into humans’ own evolution.
The Panamanian group lives on the small island of Jicarón, which is part of Coiba National Park. One group of monkeys is particularly adept with its stones, using them to crack open coconuts, snails, and nuts. Researchers first reported the Jicaron monkeys’ use of stone tools in 2004, but a team returned to the island in 2017 to record and document their findings.
Exploring the wilderness comes with some risks, and every year people die during adventure vacations around the world. Maykool Coroseo Acuña, a 25-year-old man from Chile, nearly joined these ranks when he disappeared in the Bolivian Amazon while on holiday. He survived nine days in the woods, without shelter or provisions — thanks, he says, to a friendly group of monkeys who gave him food and led him to water sources.
New research suggests that, as with humans, some female monkeys find deep male voices more attractive than their higher-pitched brethren. In a cruel kick in the pants, this research also suggests that – at least with howler monkeys – the deeper the voice, the smaller the testicles.