Response of Cebus apella to foods flavored with familiar and novel odor.

What cues support social influences on food preference in tufted capuchins? Although vision is important for food discrimination, we hypothesized that olfactory cues might also be involved. In Experiment 1, we assessed whether semolina flavored with a novel odor and eaten by a demonstrator, elicits more interest than semolina flavored with a familiar odor and eaten by a demonstrator, and to what extent the observer's interest towards the demonstrator was elicited by the food itself or by the odor impregnating the demonstrator's oral area. In Experiment 2, we investigated whether having encountered a novel odor in a social context increases the observer's subsequent consumption of semolina carrying this odor, versus semolina carrying another novel odor previously encountered in a non-social context. We tested fifteen demonstrator-observer pairs. 8 observers were offspring of the demonstrator; 7 observers were not offspring of the demonstrator. Offspring (but not Non-offspring) expressed interest towards the demonstrator's food significantly more when the odor was novel than familiar. Offspring (but not Non-offspring) were more interested when the demonstrator's food was present than when only its odor was available. Finally, having encountered the novel odor in the social context did not lead to greater consumption. These findings demonstrate that in closely bonded pairs foods carrying novel odors do elicit interest, although this interest is prompted mainly by the food itself. In contrast with other macrosmatic mammal species, capuchins' consumption of a food whose odor was previously encountered in a social context was not greater than that of a food whose odor was previously encountered when alone.

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Drapier M.
Addessi E.
Visalberghi E.
Springer [etc.], Dordrecht [etc.],, Paesi Bassi
International journal of primatology 24 (2003): 295–315.
info:cnr-pdr/source/autori:Drapier M., Addessi E., Visalberghi E./titolo:Response of Cebus apella to foods flavored with familiar and novel odor./doi:/rivista:International journal of primatology/anno:2003/pagina_da:295/pagina_a:315/intervallo_pagine:295–
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