Tool Manufacture and Use

Certainty Style Key
Hover over keys for definitions:
True   Likely   Speculative
Human Uniqueness Compared to "Great Apes": 
Relative Difference
MOCA Domain: 
MOCA Topic Authors: 

Humans have a wide variety of tools. Primates have four limbs for manipulating objects. Upright posture and manipulative hands are the adaptation to the arboreal life. Chimpanzees also manufacture and use a wide variety of tools. Tool can be defined by the detached object to get a goal. If this definition is accepted, then there is a lot of evidence of nonhuman animals using tools. However, there are some limitations such as hierarchical structure of tools. For example, humans make a tool by another tool. Chimpanzee sometimes use a tool set or tool kit to combine the multiple tools but there should be a limit of number of parts to be involved. Shelters are often utilized by humans but not much in chimpanzees. It must be important to recognize that only the great apes make the sleeping platform (called bed or nest) but not the gibbons nor the monkeys. According to the definition, the nest is a sort of tool to function as a shelter. 


  1. A 130,000-year-old archaeological site in southern California, USA, Holen, Steven R., Deméré Thomas A., Fisher Daniel C., Fullagar Richard, Paces James B., Jefferson George T., Beeton Jared M., Cerutti Richard A., Rountrey Adam N., Vescera Lawrence, et al. , Nature, 2017/04/27/print, Volume 544, Issue 7651, p.479 - 483, (2017)
  2. Tool use for corpse cleaning in chimpanzees, van Leeuwen, Edwin J. C., Cronin Katherine A., and Haun Daniel B. M. , Scientific Reports, 2017/03/13, Volume 7, p.44091 - , (2017)
  3. An earlier origin for stone tool making: implications for cognitive evolution and the transition to Homo, Lewis, Jason E., and Harmand Sonia , Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences, 2016/06/13, Volume 371, Issue 1698, (2016)
  4. Early Evidence for the Extensive Heat Treatment of Silcrete in the Howiesons Poort at Klipdrift Shelter (Layer PBD, 65 ka), South Africa, Delagnes, Anne, Schmidt Patrick, Douze Katja, Wurz Sarah, Bellot-Gurlet Ludovic, Conard Nicholas J., Nickel Klaus G., van Niekerk Karen L., and Henshilwood Christopher S. , PLoS ONEPLoS ONE, 2016/10/19, Volume 11, Issue 10, p.e0163874 - , (2016)
  5. Early evidence of stone tool use in bone working activities at Qesem Cave, Israel, Zupancich, Andrea, Nunziante-Cesaro Stella, Blasco Ruth, Rosell Jordi, Cristiani Emanuela, Venditti Flavia, Lemorini Cristina, Barkai Ran, and Gopher Avi , Scientific Reports, 2016/11/25, Volume 6, p.37686 - , (2016)
  6. Impact of meat and Lower Palaeolithic food processing techniques on chewing in humans., Zink, Katherine D., and Lieberman Daniel E. , Nature, 2016 Mar 24, Volume 531, Issue 7595, p.500-3, (2016)
  7. Nut-cracking behaviour in wild-born, rehabilitated bonobos (Pan paniscus): a comprehensive study of hand-preference, hand grips and efficiency, Neufuss, Johanna, Humle Tatyana, Cremaschi Andrea, and Kivell Tracy L. , Am J Primatol, 2016, (2016)
  8. OH-65: The earliest evidence for right-handedness in the fossil record, Frayer, David W., Clarke Ronald J., Fiore Ivana, Blumenschine Robert J., Pérez-Pérez Alejandro, Martinez Laura M., Estebaranz Ferran, Holloway Ralph, and Bondioli Luca , Journal of Human Evolution, 2016/11, Volume 100, p.65 - 72, (2016)
  9. Oldowan hominin behavior and ecology at Kanjera South,Kenya., Plummer, Thomas, and Bishop Laura , J Anthropol Sci, 2016 Jun 20, Volume 94, p.29-40, (2016)
  10. The origins of the Acheulean: past and present perspectives on a major transition in human evolution, de la Torre, Ignacio , Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences, 2016/06/13, Volume 371, Issue 1698, (2016)
  11. Tool transfers are a form of teaching among chimpanzees, Musgrave, Stephanie, Morgan David, Lonsdorf Elizabeth, Mundry Roger, and Sanz Crickette , Scientific Reports, 2016/10/11, Volume 6, p.34783 - , (2016)
  12. Wild monkeys flake stone tools, Proffitt, Tomos, Luncz Lydia V., Falótico Tiago, Ottoni Eduardo B., de la Torre Ignacio, and Haslam Michael , Nature, 2016/10/19, Volume advance online publication, p. - , (2016)
  13. "Vision for Action" in Young Children Aligning Multi-Featured Objects: Development and Comparison with Nonhuman Primates., Fragaszy, Dorothy Munkenbeck, Kuroshima Hika, and Stone Brian W. , PLoS One, 2015, Volume 10, Issue 10, p.e0140033, (2015)
  14. 3.3-million-year-old stone tools from Lomekwi 3, West Turkana, Kenya., Harmand, Sonia, Lewis Jason E., Feibel Craig S., Lepre Christopher J., Prat Sandrine, Lenoble Arnaud, Boës Xavier, Quinn Rhonda L., Brenet Michel, Arroyo Adrian, et al. , Nature, 2015 May 21, Volume 521, Issue 7552, p.310-5, (2015)
  15. Captive chimpanzee takes down a drone: tool use toward a flying object., van Hooff, Jan A. R. A. M., and Lukkenaar Bas , Primates, 2015 Oct, Volume 56, Issue 4, p.289-92, (2015)
  16. Chimpanzees and bonobos differ in intrinsic motivation for tool use., Koops, Kathelijne, Furuichi Takeshi, and Hashimoto Chie , Sci Rep, 2015, Volume 5, p.11356, (2015)
  17. Chimpanzees prey on army ants at Seringbara, Nimba Mountains, Guinea: predation patterns and tool use characteristics., Koops, Kathelijne, Schöning Caspar, McGrew William C., and Matsuzawa Tetsuro , Am J Primatol, 2015 Mar, Volume 77, Issue 3, p.319-29, (2015)
  18. Cognitive demands of lower paleolithic toolmaking., Stout, Dietrich, Hecht Erin, Khreisheh Nada, Bradley Bruce, and Chaminade Thierry , PLoS One, 2015, Volume 10, Issue 4, p.e0121804, (2015)
  19. Early Upper Paleolithic chronology in the Levant: new ABOx-SC accelerator mass spectrometry results from the Mughr el-Hamamah Site, Jordan., Stutz, Aaron Jonas, Shea John J., Rech Jason A., Pigati Jeffrey S., Wilson Jim, Belmaker Miriam, Albert Rosa Maria, Arpin Trina, Cabanes Dan, Clark Jamie L., et al. , J Hum Evol, 2015 Aug, Volume 85, p.157-73, (2015)
  20. Estimating thumb-index finger precision grip and manipulation potential in extant and fossil primates., Feix, Thomas, Kivell Tracy L., Pouydebat Emmanuelle, and Dollar Aaron M. , J R Soc Interface, 2015 May 6, Volume 12, Issue 106, (2015)
  21. Evidence in hand: recent discoveries and the early evolution of human manual manipulation., Kivell, Tracy L. , Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci, 2015 Nov 19, Volume 370, Issue 1682, (2015)
  22. Insights into early lithic technologies from ethnography., Hayden, Brian , Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci, 2015 Nov 19, Volume 370, Issue 1682, (2015)
  23. New evidence on the tool-assisted hunting exhibited by chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus) in a savannah habitat at Fongoli, Sénégal., Pruetz, J D., Bertolani P, K Ontl Boyer, Lindshield S, Shelley M, and Wessling E G. , R Soc Open Sci, 2015 Apr, Volume 2, Issue 4, p.140507, (2015)
  24. Preparation and use of varied natural tools for extractive foraging by bonobos (Pan Paniscus)., Roffman, Itai, Savage-Rumbaugh Sue, Rubert-Pugh Elizabeth, Stadler André, Ronen Avraham, and Nevo Eviatar , Am J Phys Anthropol, 2015 Sep, Volume 158, Issue 1, p.78-91, (2015)
  25. Taphonomy of fossils from the hominin-bearing deposits at Dikika, Ethiopia., Thompson, Jessica C., McPherron Shannon P., Bobe René, Reed Denné, W Barr Andrew, Wynn Jonathan G., Marean Curtis W., Geraads Denis, and Alemseged Zeresenay , J Hum Evol, 2015 Sep, Volume 86, p.112-35, (2015)
  26. The evolution of the hominin thumb and the influence exerted by the non-dominant hand during stone tool production., Key, Alastair J. M., and Dunmore Christopher J. , J Hum Evol, 2015 Jan, Volume 78, p.60-9, (2015)
  27. There Is More than One Way to Crack an Oyster: Identifying Variation in Burmese Long-Tailed Macaque (Macaca fascicularis aurea) Stone-Tool Use., Tan, Amanda, Tan Say Hoon, Vyas Dhaval, Malaivijitnond Suchinda, and Gumert Michael D. , PLoS One, 2015, Volume 10, Issue 5, p.e0124733, (2015)
  28. Tools to tipple: ethanol ingestion by wild chimpanzees using leaf-sponges., Hockings, Kimberley J., Bryson-Morrison Nicola, Carvalho Susana, Fujisawa Michiko, Humle Tatyana, McGrew William C., Nakamura Miho, Ohashi Gaku, Yamanashi Yumi, Yamakoshi Gen, et al. , R Soc Open Sci, 2015 Jun, Volume 2, Issue 6, p.150150, (2015)
  29. Age and date for early arrival of the Acheulian in Europe (Barranc de la Boella, la Canonja, Spain)., Vallverdú, Josep, Saladié Palmira, Rosas Antonio, Huguet Rosa, Cáceres Isabel, Mosquera Marina, García-Tabernero Antonio, Estalrrich Almudena, Lozano-Fernández Iván, Pineda-Alcalá Antonio, et al. , PLoS One, 2014, Volume 9, Issue 7, p.e103634, (2014)
  30. Old stones’ song: Use-wear experiments and analysis of the Oldowan quartz and quartzite assemblage from Kanjera South (Kenya), Lemorini, C., Plummer T., Braun D., Crittenden A., Ditchfield P., Bishop L., Hertel F., Oliver J., Marlowe F., Schoeninger M., et al. , Journal of Human Evolution, 07/2014, Volume 72, p.10-25, (2014)
  31. The ecology of primate material culture., Koops, Kathelijne, Visalberghi Elisabetta, and van Schaik Carel P. , Biol Lett, 2014 Nov, Volume 10, Issue 11, p.20140508, (2014)
  32. Stone tool production and utilization by bonobo-chimpanzees (Pan paniscus)., Roffman, Itai, Savage-Rumbaugh Sue, Rubert-Pugh Elizabeth, Ronen Avraham, and Nevo Eviatar , Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 2012 Sep 4, Volume 109, Issue 36, p.14500-3, (2012)