Tool-wielding Macaques Are Wiping Out Shellfish Populations

A macaque regulating a mill apparatus to mangle open shellfish. (Credit: Luncz et. al/eLife)

A macaque regulating a mill apparatus to mangle open shellfish. (Credit: Luncz et. al/eLife)

The appearance of collection was a large understanding for humanity. It done it distant easier to manipulate a sourroundings and mold a world to offer a possess interests—from a folsom indicate to a iPhone X.

Some animals use collection too, like a macaques of Thailand, who have figured out that their favorite shellfish snacks are most easier to eat if they whack them open with rocks first. They’ve turn proficient shellfish smashers, so most so that a macaques are indeed melancholy a existence of oysters and snails an a tiny island there. It’s a story of record left wrong — usually this time, humans aren’t a villains.


Researchers from Thailand, Europe and Australia looked during dual groups of long-tailed macaques on apart islands off a Thai coast. The dual locations, both comparison in shellfish populations, differed usually in a series of macaques there. Koram is horde to around 80 primates, while NomSao has yet nine. Both groups have figured out how to use rocks to mangle open shellfish armor, function that has been celebrated among other groups of macaques in Thailand.

On Koram, though, a contentment of tool-wielding macaques has led to a predicament of sorts. In a paper published final week in a biography eLife, a researchers guess that a singular particular on a island slurps down 47 shellfish a day, mostly oysters. For a tiny 26 macaques that a researchers studied, that works out to 441,000 a year. Looking during periwinkles, a tiny sea snail, a researchers estimated that a monkeys could eat a whole island’s race in usually a year. On NomSao, a most smaller organisation cooking usually about an eighth of a accessible periwinkle population.

A comparison of shells from a dual islands. (Credit: Luncz et. al/eLife)

A comparison of shells from a dual islands. (Credit: Luncz et. al/eLife)

The outcome of a feeding frenzy has significantly discontinued a distance of shellfish on Koram. Because a macaques seem to go for a biggest, meatiest individuals, they’ve begun to exterminate a mature shellfish, withdrawal mostly smaller juveniles in their place. Smaller shellfish meant that daintier rocks are compulsory to mangle them open, and a researchers noticed that a tools of choice on Koram were considerably tiny compared to NomSao.

Don’t Get Macaque-y

If a trend continues, a shellfish will eventually get so tiny that a macaques won’t even be means to use stones to mangle them open anymore, making their tool-using bravery pointless. If that happens, a believe of mill collection could disappear from their organisation memory altogether, a kind of dis-evolution. The participation of collection might be no some-more than a flitting fad, a high-water mark, perhaps, of complicated macaque society.

Of course, it substantially won’t get that bad. The macaques do have one thing going for them: many shellfish get cleared to a island on currents during their planktonic stage, providing a uninformed supply of dishes for a inspired macaques. The conditions does bear unpleasant similarities to a possess stream state of affairs, though, as we spend healthy resources to energy a future.

Perhaps a macaques have something to learn us about greed.

  • To save snails and shellfish from annihilation (EXTINCTION IS FOREVER!!!)

    …1) ROCK CONTROL. A macaque wishing to possess a mill contingency fill out an focus and confidence form, and a $40 fee, afterwards wait 3 weeks for confirmation. Large rocks are forbidden. No attack rocks or involuntary shell-breaking rocks. Rocks contingency be tied to an ankle rope so they can't be fast exchanged for new rocks.

    …2) DE-EDUCATION. Teach them amicable intent, feminism, passionate liberation, sociology, rights, tolerance, Antifa, psychology, Snowflakery, articulate sticks, domestic science, Progressivism, climatology, religion, a primitive self, Islam, amicable justice, gateway drugs,purity rings, mill conform sense, STDS, and a series line.

    …3) Have Mr. Michelle announce their lunches whole pellet only.


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Posted by on Sep 13 2017. Filed under Environment. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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