Macaques (Macaca sp.) are one of the most widespread primate groups, with over a dozen species ranging from eastern Asia to northern Africa. While various macaque groups have been suggested to show cultural behaviours (e.g., Japanese macaques washing potatoes or handling stones) only one species is currently known to use tools in the wild. These are the long-tailed macaques of Southeast Asia (Macaca fascicularis aurea). Unusual aspects of long-tailed macaque tool use include its concentration along intertidal coasts, and a focus on using stone tools to process other animals, including a wide variety of shellfish and crabs.
The PRIMARCH project conducts field research with wild Macaca fascicularis aurea groups at two sites in Thailand: Laem Son National Park and Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park. Research at these sites is directed by Prof. Suchinda Malaivijitnond and Dr Michael Gumert.
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Gumert, M., Hoong, L. K., Malaivijitnond, S., 2011. Sex differences in the stone tool-use behavior of a wild population of Burmese long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis aurea). American Journal of Primatology 73, 1-11.
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Haslam M., Gumert M., Biro D., Carvalho S., Malaivijitnond S., 2013. Use-wear patterns on wild macaque stone tools reveal their behavioural history. PLoS One 8:72872.
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Tan A., Tan S.H., Vyas D., Malaivijitnond S., Gumert M. 2015. There is more than one way to crack an oyster: identifying variation in Burmese long-tailed macaque (Macaca fascicularis aurea) stone-tool use. PLoS One 10, e0124733.