Male-biased stone tool use by wild white-faced capuchins (Cebus capucinus imitator)

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American Journal of Primatology. Wiley. 2024, 86(4), e23594. ISSN 0275-2565. eISSN 1098-2345. Available under: doi: 10.1002/ajp.23594
Zusammenfassung

Tool-using primates often show sex differences in both the frequency and efficiency of tool use. In species with sex-biased dispersal, such within-group variation likely shapes patterns of cultural transmission of tool-use traditions between groups. On the Panamanian islands of Jicarón and Coiba, a population of white-faced capuchins (Cebus capucinus imitator)—some of which engage in habitual stone tool use—provide an opportunity to test hypotheses about why such sex-biases arise. On Jicarón, we have only observed males engaging in stone tool use, whereas on Coiba, both sexes are known to use tools. Using 5 years of camera trap data, we provide evidence that this variation likely reflects a sex difference in tool use rather than a sampling artifact, and then test hypotheses about the factors driving this pattern. Differences in physical ability or risk-aversion, and competition over access to anvils do not account for the sex-differences in tool-use we observe. Our data show that adult females are physically capable of stone tool use: adult females on Coiba and juveniles on Jicarón smaller than adult females regularly engage in tool use. Females also have ample opportunity to use tools: the sexes are equally terrestrial, and competition over anvils is low. Finally, females rarely scrounge on left-over food items either during or after tool-using events, suggesting they are not being provisioned by males. Although it remains unclear why adult white-faced capuchin females on Jicarón do not use stone-tools, our results illustrate that such sex biases in socially learned behaviors can arise even in the absence of obvious physical, environmental, and social constraints. This suggests that a much more nuanced understanding of the differences in social structure, diet, and dispersal patterns are needed to explain why sex-biases in tool use arise in some populations but not in others.

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570 Biowissenschaften, Biologie
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contest competition, cultural transmission, extractive foraging, hammerstone and anvil tools, social learning, terrestriality
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ISO 690GOLDSBOROUGH, Zoe, Margaret C. CROFOOT, Brendan J. BARRETT, 2024. Male-biased stone tool use by wild white-faced capuchins (Cebus capucinus imitator). In: American Journal of Primatology. Wiley. 2024, 86(4), e23594. ISSN 0275-2565. eISSN 1098-2345. Available under: doi: 10.1002/ajp.23594
BibTex
@article{Goldsborough2024-04Maleb-69158,
  year={2024},
  doi={10.1002/ajp.23594},
  title={Male-biased stone tool use by wild white-faced capuchins (Cebus capucinus imitator)},
  number={4},
  volume={86},
  issn={0275-2565},
  journal={American Journal of Primatology},
  author={Goldsborough, Zoe and Crofoot, Margaret C. and Barrett, Brendan J.},
  note={Article Number: e23594}
}
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