December 6, 2012—In the Brazilian Cerrado, a National Geographic explorer is studying how bearded capuchin monkeys learned to expertly use stone tools to crack open palm nuts.
Have you ever had a hard time opening a nut? Maybe you can learn a thing or two from these guys!
I'm Lucie McNeil and this is National Geographic On Assignment—your link you to thousands of Nat Geo Explorers around the globe.
Today, we're off to the Brazilian Cerrado, Where bearded capuchin monkeys use large stones to crack open palm nuts.
National Geographic's Dorothy Fragaszy has been trying to figure out how these monkeys do this.
Capuchins are the only monkeys that use stones to open nuts and it's a finely honed skill.
SOUNDBITE: Dorothy Fragaszy: It takes young monkeys years to be proficient at cracking nuts, they have to be between 3 to 5 years old before they're any good at all.
Among adults, there's a lot of competition to find the best stone for hammering...as well as the best place to set the nut.
Since other food sources are plentiful in the forest, these palm nuts must be quite a treat for the capuchins ... one worthy of all the effort.
That's National Geographic On Assignment—your link to our Explorers.