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August 21 2013

Illegal palm oil developments force monkeys to down tools

Macaque monkeys that have developed the ability to use stone tools to open shellfish are in danger of losing the skill because of human development.

Scientists found that illegal palm oil and rubber plantations in Thailand are disrupting the monkeys' feeding behaviour.

Dogs brought in to protect the farms are repelling the macaques from the shoreline, which inhibits their tool-using activities.

The study is published in Oryx.

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