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Colour discrimination in the black-tufted-ear marmoset (Callithrix penicillata): ecological implications

Colour discrimination in the black-tufted-ear marmoset (Callithrix penicillata): ecological implications

Folia Primatologica; International Journal of Primatology 76(3): 125-134

The dietary diversity of marmosets is substantial, which may reflect differences in their colour vision. This study examined the colour discrimination ability of a gummivore/insectivore callitrichid, Callithrix penicillata, which inhabits the Brazilian cerrado (bush savanna). A series of ecologically relevant tasks, involving a behavioural paradigm of discrimination learning in semi-natural conditions and the usage of ecologically relevant stimuli, was executed. Three marmosets, 2 males and a female, behaved like human dichromats, showing an impaired performance when orange and green stimuli had to be discriminated. In contrast, 2 females resembled human trichromats, discriminating those kinds of pairs. Our data suggest that Callithrix penicillata presents a polymorphic trichromacy, with dichromatic males and dichromatic or trichromatic females. Copyright copyright 2005 S. Karger AG, Basel.

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Accession: 022231698

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PMID: 15900100

DOI: 10.1159/000084375

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