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Panama apes have started their own Stone Age, say scientists

The white-faced capuchin is a species of monkeys living in Panama. Scientists have observed the capuchins use stones as tools.

(cia.gov)

A group of Panamanian monkeys can have their own
stone age, scientists said.

Some monkeys in Panama have stumbled into the Stone Age https://t.co/nEUCfbwSxn pic.twitter.com/97OsAAExVB

— New Scientist (@newscientist) July 3, 2018

A population of white-face capuchin monkeys living on the Panamanian island of Jicarón have been observed using stones to smash open nuts and shellfish, New Scientist reported Monday.

Scientists first made the discovery in 2004, but returned to the island in March 2017 with cameras to catch the monkeys in the law.

Scientists do not know when the 6-million-years-inhabitants of the island began the practice, but that the skill was learned “by accident.” Scientists said the practice was only evident to a few men.

No other nearby populations have been observed to use stones, according to the report.

The discovery marks the fourth observed group of non-human primates, which stones were used for tools. Other species with similar practices are chimpanzees in west Africa, and macaques in Thailand, and other types of capuchins in South America, New Scientist reported.

Until a few decades ago, scientists believed that the human is the only species that provided stone tools. The Stone Age for the man began 2.5 million years ago.

Bradford Betz is an editor for Fox News. Follow him on Twitter @bradford_betz.

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