Quality, quantity, distribution and audience effects on food calling in cotton-top tamarins

Rs. Roush et Ct. Snowdon, Quality, quantity, distribution and audience effects on food calling in cotton-top tamarins, ETHOLOGY, 106(8), 2000, pp. 673-690
Citations number
Categorie Soggetti
Animal Sciences","Neurosciences & Behavoir
Journal title
ISSN journal
0179-1613 → ACNP
Year of publication
673 - 690
SICI code
Despite extensive documentation in many taxa of vocalizations specific to f eeding contexts, little is known of the variables leading to production of food-associated calls. We thus experimentally investigated food-associated calls in cotton-top tamarins (Saguinus oedipus). In one experiment, we exam ined the roles of food quantity, quality and distribution and of social con dition of individuals on food-associated calling. Paired adults without off spring gave more vocalizations than immature individuals and adults with of fspring. We observed no effects of food quantity or distribution on calling rate. Tamarins called more often to peaches, a food of intermediate prefer ence that was also consumed the fastest. Tamarins gave more food-associated calls when in closer proximity to other group members. Low rates of modera te aggression were observed in single, but not multiple, feeder conditions. We saw no consistent evidence of dominance among adults, and all aggressio n in family groups was directed toward immature animals. In another experim ent, we presented a tamarin with food in a separate cage, either in view of or visually isolated from its mate. Tamarins presented with food called at an equal rate whether or not their mates were visible, suggesting no effec t of audience on calling. Individuals not presented with food called in res ponse to the food calls of their mates equally often, irrespective of wheth er or not the mate or the food was visible. Since food calling occurs at ex tremely low rates in the absence of food, the food calling by tamarins that cannot see the food suggests that the calls of their mates provide represe ntational information about food.