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Technological Response of Wild Macaques (Macaca fascicularis) to Anthropogenic Change

Luncz, LV; Svensson, MS; Haslam, M; Malaivijitnond, S; Proffitt, T; Gumert, M; (2017) Technological Response of Wild Macaques (Macaca fascicularis) to Anthropogenic Change. International Journal of Primatology , 38 (5) pp. 872-880. 10.1007/s10764-017-9985-6. Green open access

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Abstract

Anthropogenic disturbances have a detrimental impact on the natural world; the vast expansion of palm oil monocultures is one of the most significant agricultural influences. Primates worldwide consequently have been affected by the loss of their natural ecosystems. Long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascilularis) in Southern Thailand have, however, learned to exploit oil palm nuts using stone tools. Using camera traps, we captured the stone tool behavior of one macaque group in Ao Phang-Nga National Park. Line transects placed throughout an abandoned oil palm plantation confirmed a high abundance of nut cracking sites. Long-tailed macaques previously have been observed using stone tools to harvest shellfish along the coasts of Thailand and Myanmar. The novel nut processing behavior indicates the successful transfer of existing lithic technology to a new food source. Such behavioral plasticity has been suggested to underlie cultural behavior in animals, suggesting that long-tailed macaques have potential to exhibit cultural tendencies. The use of tools to process oil palm nuts across multiple primate species allows direct comparisons between stone tool using nonhuman primates living in anthropogenic environments.

Type: Article
Title: Technological Response of Wild Macaques (Macaca fascicularis) to Anthropogenic Change
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s10764-017-9985-6
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10764-017-9985-6
Language: English
Additional information: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
Keywords: Anthropogenic influence, Behavioral flexibility, Macaca fascicularis, Nut cracking, Tool use
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Institute of Archaeology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Institute of Archaeology > Institute of Archaeology Gordon Square
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10059904
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