Example of a long-tailed macaque utilizing a stone tool to gain access to food. Credit: Lydia V. Luncz Macaques inadvertently produced stone pieces that bear a similarity to a few of the earliest stone artifacts crafted by early hominins.The research study concentrates on fresh analyses of stone tools utilized by long-tailed macaques in Thailand’s Phang Nga National Park. These primates make use of stone tools to open tough-shelled nuts, regularly triggering their hammerstones and anvils to break in the procedure. The collection of fragmented stones that arises from this procedure is both substantial in size and thoroughly dispersed throughout the surface. Many artifacts display the exact same qualities usually associated with actively crafted stone tools discovered at some of the earliest historical websites in East Africa. “The capability to deliberately make sharp stone flakes is viewed as a critical point in the development of hominins, and comprehending how and when this took place is a substantial concern that is normally examined through the research study of previous artifacts and fossils. Our research study reveals that stone tool production is not distinct to people and our forefathers,” states lead author Tomos Proffitt, a scientist at limit Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. “The truth that these macaques utilize stone tools to process nuts is not unexpected, as they likewise utilize tools to acquire access to numerous shellfish. What is intriguing is that, in doing so they unintentionally produce a significant historical record of their own that is partially identical from some hominin artifacts.” Examples of sharp-edged flakes produced inadvertently by long-tailed macaques. Credit: Proffitt et al, 2023 New insights into the development of stone tool technologyBy comparing the unintentionally produced stone pieces made by the macaques with those from a few of the earliest historical sites, the scientists had the ability to reveal that a lot of the artifacts produced by monkeys fall within the series of those typically related to early hominins. Co-lead author Jonathan Reeves highlights: “The reality that these artifacts can be produced through nut splitting has ramifications for the variety of habits we relate to sharp-edged flakes in the historical record.” The recently found macaque stone tools provide brand-new insights into how the very first innovation may have begun in our earliest forefathers which its origin might have been connected to comparable nut splitting habits which might be significantly older than the existing earliest historical record. “Cracking nuts utilizing stone hammers and anvils, comparable to what some primates do today, has actually been recommended by some as a possible precursor to deliberate stone tool production. This research study, in addition to previous ones released by our group, unlocks to being able to recognize such a historical signature in the future,” states Lydia Luncz, senior author of the research study and head of the Technological Primates Research Group at limit Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. “This discovery demonstrates how living primates can assist scientists examine the origin and advancement of tool usage in our own family tree” Reference: “Wild macaques challenge the origin of deliberate tool production” by Tomos Proffitt, Jonathan S. Reeves, David R. Braun, Suchinda Malaivijitnond and Lydia V. Luncz, 10 March 2023, Science Advances. DOI: 10.1126/ sciadv.ade8159.