Animal minds

Macaque stone age culture?

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It used to be we read the Blue Fairy book for wondrous tales; now one can read New Scientist: From Alex Kasperak:

Only a few decades ago scientists thought that humans were the only species to have worked out how to turn objects in their environment into useful tools. We now know all sorts of animals can do the same – but the tools of choice are usually perishable materials like leafs and twigs.

It’s hard to know why anyone thought that “all sorts of animals”can’t use materials from their environments as tools. They do but they are limited by their inability to process abstractions.

Burmese long-tailed macaques are a rare exception. They are renowned for their use of stone tools to crack open shellfish, crabs and nuts, making them one of the very few primates that have followed hominins into the Stone Age.

They haven’t followed hominins into the Stone Age unless one agrees that birds have too. Has the bird in the vid below entered the Wire Age?

Now, for the first time, researchers have carried out a successful “monkey archaeology” dig to begin studying the origins of the behaviour.More.

The “Stone Age” was known only in retrospect. Only in the Bronze Age. But no one studies history any more.

See also: Are apes entering the Stone Age?

and

Imagine a world of religions that naturalism might indeed be able to explain

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