Studying the ontogeny of complex food manipulations within and across primate species has important consequences for our understanding of the level of phenotypic plasticity, the underlying cognitive abilities, and the emergence of tool-use in humans. In a previous study, we categorized and empirically validated manipulation complexity in food-related contexts in 37 primate species. In this talk, I will present some recent work showing that the order of the complexity scale assigned in the previous study matches the order of emergence of these manipulation categories during ontogeny.