Differences in Aerial and Terrestrial Visual Scanning in Captive Black Tufted-Ear Marmosets (Callithrix penicillata) Exposed to a Novel EnvironmentBarros M.a, b · Alencar C.a · Tomaz C.a
a Primate Centre, University of Brasilia, Brasilia, Brazil;b Institute of Physiological Psychology I, University of Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf,Germany
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Aerial and terrestrial visual scanning were investigated in captive black tufted-ear marmosets, Callithrix penicillata, exposed to a novel environment. Naive adult subjects (n = 24) were individually exposed to a figure-eight maze during seven 30-min trials, 48 h apart. Habituation to the maze was observed, as indicated by the significant decrease in locomotion. The frequency of aerial scanning, however, remained elevated throughout the 7 trials, while its duration rapidly increased to high levels. Frequency and duration of terrestrial scanning persisted at constant low rates, differing significantly from aerial scanning. Males and females did not differ significantly. The different impact of aerial versus terrestrial predators could have a significant influence on vigilant behaviour in this species. Thus, visual scanning is an important and highly organized antipredation strategy in marmosets.
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