Eh, now that I think about it, your bonus prognostication doesn't seem that outlandish. Capuchins use stone tools. I'll repeat that: capuchins use stone tools. You mention chimp technology, and since we use tools - isn't it logical to assume tool manufacture was a trait of the LCA, therefore anything on the lines from the LCA to both chimps and humans had the capacity to make some sort of tool? Without tools and Isaac-approved butchery sites, the more interesting question remains the same: what happened around Gona's antiquity that made hominins start doing things differently than capuchins and chimps?
Yeah, the bonus is never all that unlikely. I still think somebody will find a robust australopithecine in Asia.
It’s the mad persistence of Oldowan (and later Acheulean) that gets me. But then maybe it’s not really so different from chimpanzees. Honey extraction, bushbaby spearing, and lots of other things are only at one or two field sites. But termite/ant fishing is everywhere. How do they keep that going? I suppose it’s partly innate, or they have an innate bias toward learning it. Maybe Oldowan is like that, so there is a biological trigger supporting stone tools in later australopithecines.