The use of stones as hammers to break open nuts was studied in a captive group of 7 Cebus apella. Only the single adult female and an infant showed no tool use. Tool use significantly reduced the time required to break open the nuts and obtain the kernel and led to fewer nuts being abandoned. Individual differences and social processes surrounding tool use are described. The development of tool use in a juvenile female is documented, along with the same female’s novel use of a previously neglected object as a tool and the subsequent use of this object by the other members of the group.

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