Not all inventions are born to change the world. Some, like the one you can see in the video below, have a little more prosaic purposes, but they are not less interesting for this.
This monkey from the Serra da Capivara National Park (SCNP), in Brazil, invented a toothpick … with a dual use. And that of cleaning the spaces between the gums is only its secondary purpose.
Spring cleaning. The female of bearded cebo (Sapajus libidniosus) was observed by some primatologists of the University of Oxford while introducing a thin branch into the nostrils, obtaining a sneeze. The same instrument - a carefully selected twig or blade of grass - was then used between one tooth and another, and each "inspection", in one or the other cavity, ended with a "taste" ".
Accidental discovery. The strange behavior, never documented in nature among the adults of these monkeys, was noticed by chance, when the researchers heard an unbroken series of sneezes coming from the direction of the primate. Males of bearded cebo use toothpicks of that size to procure food, but not for personal hygiene reasons. The females had never been seen, in hundreds of hours of observation, using this tool (tool, in scientific jargon), until this unprecedented use was documented.
Evolutionary convergence. Other geographically distant primates, such as the chimpanzees in Mahale, Tanzania, were observed introducing sticks into the nose. A behavior that has evolved independently and that is not necessarily to be learned by others. From the evolutionary point of view, a dangerous practice such as introducing a toothpick in the nose may not be so advantageous.