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  • Cited by 57
Cambridge University Press
Online publication date:
March 2013
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Book description

The last decade has witnessed remarkable discoveries and advances in our understanding of the tool using behaviour of animals. Wild populations of capuchin monkeys have been observed to crack open nuts with stone tools, similar to the skills of chimpanzees and humans. Corvids have been observed to use and make tools that rival in complexity the behaviours exhibited by the great apes. Excavations of the nut cracking sites of chimpanzees have been dated to around 4-5 thousand years ago. Tool Use in Animals collates these and many more contributions by leading scholars in psychology, biology and anthropology, along with supplementary online materials, into a comprehensive assessment of the cognitive abilities and environmental forces shaping these behaviours in taxa as distantly related as primates and corvids.


'Tool Use in Animals: Cognition and Ecology may well be the new benchmark text for animal cognition. This book is clear, well-written, suitably broad in its approach, and delivers information that covers a review of the field in addition to new data. Its appeal will encompass readers from various connected academic disciplines, and [it] is an appropriate text for professionals and for students. This is an important and timely offering, and a happy addition to my library.'

Kerrie Lewis Graham Source: American Journal of Physical Anthropology

'During the half century since Jane Goodall first observed a chimpanzee fashioning and using a tool, there has been great interest and attention to defining, describing, and interpreting tool use among many animal phyla. Whereas some books have catalogued tool use, this volume investigates four behavioral domains - phylogenetic, functional, ontogenetic, and mechanistic … Readers will gain perspective on the interaction of evolutionary and environmental factors shaping tool use behaviour, yet wonder why more animals do not use tools or make better use of them … Highly recommended. Lower-division undergraduates and above; general readers.'

J. Burger Source: Choice

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