Primatology : The Monkey Behaviour’s Science

A recent another great step forward through our ancestors knowledgement’s understanding.

Primatology is basically the monkey behavioural science, the main purpose of this field of research being to be able to understand some basic human’ devices through the understanding of our cousin/ancestor’s behaviour.

Recently some German, American and French scientifists belonging to this field of research found out something extremely odd…Some monkeys living in areas located in West Africa like Guinea-Bissau, Côte d’Ivoire or Burkina Faso…show a new stange phenomenon. In particularly the chimpanzee (monkey very close to the human being), an experience with some chimpanzee individuals rises new issues in this scientifists community.

A system of hidden cameras placed in the trees or on the ground have filmed several chimpanzees (in general some male adults but also several females and young individuals) using stones but in a very uncommon way. For years we knew that most of monkeys were able to use different instruments in order to be more efficient and active in their own environment (using stones to break nuts or fruits, able to handle a wooden stick to catch ants…) but this time they have been seen using stones for a “nonsense” purpose. They piled stone after stone up at the foot of a tree. Once this strange ritual is over (it can be quite long given that each monkey chooses each stone warily and sets it up on the pile), the chimpanzee takes other stones and throws them against the trunk of the tree. This action can be repeated sometime several times per month.

So this discovery rises a lot of questions among the scientifists and primatologues, but a majority of them are coming to similar ideas : after other hypothesis (like the fact to create a point of reference to mark a path or a precise spot) which came to a dead end, the main idea is that maybe cultural ground, customs and rituals would not only be a human distinctive feature, but maybe something more ancient belonging also to our ancestors…

A discovery which is going to give some white hair to many formal scientifists!


by Antonin Vallet

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