Capuchin monkeys are known for their cognitive abilities, including object manipulation and use of a variety of tools. The hooded capuchin (Sapajus cay) is the only representative of its genus found in Paraguay and is critically understudied in the country. This paper reports on preliminary observations of a group of hooded capuchins, in Rancho Laguna Blanca, San Pedro, Paraguay, using two different first-order object manipulation techniques to open the seeds of the tree Cariniana estrellensis (Lecythidaceae). Some individuals held the seed in both hands and stood bipedally, using their entire body weight to smash the seed against a branch. The more commonly observed technique involved the monkeys holding the seed in one hand and repeatedly striking the branch with the fruit until they could extract the seed. Only adults were ever observed to be successful in opening the fruits.
Bibliographical noteThanks to Jorge Ayala for assistance with tree identification. I am grateful to Paul Smith, Susan Smith, Emily Briggs and two anonymous reviewers for extremely helpful comments on drafts of this paper. Thanks to the SEAM and Malvina Duarte for continued support of Fundación Para La Tierra’s projects.
- Combinatorial activities
- Destructive foraging
- Hooded capuchin
- Upper Paraná Atlantic Forest