London: Scientists have found that monkeys are capable of more advanced tool use than previously thought after watching a crude “pedicure” carried out by a mandrill at Chester Zoo.
The scientists from Durham University, UK, filmed the mandrill stripping a twig and using the resulting tool to clean under its toenails.
Mandrills are the fifth species of Old World monkey seen deliberately modifying tools.
“It is an ability that, up until a few years ago, was thought to be unique to humans,” lead researcher Dr Riccardo Pansini told BBC.
The new findings, he said, indicate that monkeys’ intelligence may too have been underestimated.
They published the findings in the journal Behavioural Processes.
First Published: Friday, July 22, 2011, 20:53