Do Common Marmosets (Callithrix jacchus) Use Scent to Communicate Information about Food Resources?

Title

Do Common Marmosets (Callithrix jacchus) Use Scent to Communicate Information about Food Resources?

Creator

Thompson Cynthia L; Blanck Lauren M; Pearson Meghan; Scheidel Caleb; Vinyard Christopher J

Publisher

Folia primatologica; international journal of primatology

Date

2018
2018

Description

Many animals use olfactory cues to signal information about food resources; however, this particular use of scent has received little attention in primates. Common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus) are exudativores that gouge bark to elicit exudate production and frequently deposit scent marks at gouge holes. We conducted preliminary tests of the hypothesis that common marmosets use olfactory cues to communicate information about exudate value, with more desirable resources targeted for marking. We performed choice experiments on two captive male marmosets. The animals were presented with: (1) a urine scent-marked and unmarked food resource, and (2) a high and low value food resource (i.e., greater/lesser food volumes). Marmosets placed more scent marks on high, compared to low, value food resources. Animals also spent more time gouging, removed more bark and more frequently revisited high versus low value food resources. Lastly, scent-marked foods were gouged more often than unmarked foods. Our findings support the hypothesis that marmosets use scent marking and olfaction to convey information about food resources, although verification in a larger sample is needed. Nonetheless, the demonstrated link between food value and scent marking suggests that olfactory signals may aid marmoset foraging decisions.

Subject

*Animal Communication; *Food; *Odorants/analysis; *Smell; Animals; Callithrix/*physiology; Foraging decisions; Male; Olfactory communication; Optimal foraging; Scent marking; Sensory ecology; Signaling; Urine

Identifier

Rights

Article information provided for research and reference use only. All rights are retained by the journal listed under publisher and/or the creator(s).

Pages

305–315

Issue

5

Volume

89

Citation

Thompson Cynthia L; Blanck Lauren M; Pearson Meghan; Scheidel Caleb; Vinyard Christopher J, “Do Common Marmosets (Callithrix jacchus) Use Scent to Communicate Information about Food Resources?,” NEOMED Bibliography Database, accessed August 18, 2022, https://neomed.omeka.net/items/show/4732.

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