The capuchins are about the size of house cats, with black bodies, long dexterous tails. The male monkeys were the only ones seen using the stone as tools.
The male members of Panama's white-face capuchin monkey population were seen using stones as tools, a report has detailed. The monkeys are the fourth group of non-human primates to be recorded carrying out the action.
According to a New Scientist report, the monkeys have inhabited Panama's Jicarón island for some six million years and were first seen using stones to open nuts and shellfish as far back as 2004. Capuchins are reportedly fast learners, that are capable of picking up new behavioral traits by observing other members of their species.
The monkeys are about the size of house cats, with black bodies and long dexterous tails that they often use to support their two-legged stride. The capuchins live in troops of about 20 animals.
The animals are also known to carry out other advance rituals such as rubbing plants all over their bodies, defend themselves with sticks against snakes and seemingly playing games by passing sticks and stones to one another.
Some chimpanzees in West Africa, macaques in Thailand and other species of capuchins in South America are the only previous species seen using stones as tools, according to the report.
"They independently evolved a huge reliance on culture," Brendan Barrett, a behavioral ecologist at the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in Germany, said. "That makes them a really good comparison for human evolution."