Macaque monkeys are in danger of losing their unique tool-using skill because of human development.
Long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis) feed opportunistically in many habitats. They live in the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Burma, India, Vietnam, and Cambodia. The Burmese subspecies inhabits coastal areas in southwestern Thailand and Myanmar, and some of their populations have adapted using stones for opening shells by the sea.
The report in the international journal of conservation comes almost a decade after the first scientific description of tool-use among capuchin monkeys in South America. Researchers have been monitoring these monkeys on the Laem Son National Park, on the Andaman sea coast of Thailand, since 2007. They found that 88% of around 200 adults use stones to crack open hard-shelled invertebrate prey, including rock oysters, sea snails and crabs.
It is a rare skill set.
The study shows that all across South East Asia, there is a growing problem of macaques becoming acclimatized to living around people and becoming dependant on humans for food. Scientists are worried that these skilled monkeys could seek the same way of finding food.
I sometimes wonder what the end result of mankind's domination will be. Perhaps humans will imprison every animal or bird used for food and kill off anything they consider unnecessary. I wouldn't want to live in that world.