Document Detail

Demonstration of a foraging advantage for trichromatic marmosets (Callithrix geoffroyi) dependent on food colour.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  10737399     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
It has been suggested that the major advantage of trichromatic over dichromatic colour vision in primates is enhanced detection of red/yellow food items such as fruit against the dappled foliage of the forest. This hypothesis was tested by comparing the foraging ability of dichromatic and trichromatic Geoffroy's marmosets (Callithrix geoffroyi) for orange- and green-coloured cereal balls (Kix) in a naturalized captive setting. Trichromatic marmosets found a significantly greater number of orange, but not green, Kix than dichromatic marmosets when the food items were scattered on the floor of the cage (at a potential detection distance of up to 6 m from the animals). Under these conditions, trichromats but not dichromats found significantly more orange than green Kix, an effect that was also evident when separately examining the data from the end of the trials, when the least conspicuous Kix were left. In contrast, no significant differences among trichromats and dichromats were seen when the Kix were placed in trays among green wood shavings (detection distance < 0.5 m). These results support an advantage for trichromats in detecting orange-coloured food items against foliage, and also suggest that this advantage may be less important at shorter distances. If such a foraging advantage for trichromats is present in the wild it might be sufficient to maintain the colour vision polymorphism seen in the majority of New World monkeys.
N G Caine; N I Mundy
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society     Volume:  267     ISSN:  0962-8452     ISO Abbreviation:  Proc. Biol. Sci.     Publication Date:  2000 Mar 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2000-06-15     Completed Date:  2000-06-15     Revised Date:  2009-11-18    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101245157     Medline TA:  Proc Biol Sci     Country:  ENGLAND    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  439-44     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Psychology, California State University, San Marcos, CA 92096, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Callithrix / genetics,  physiology*
Color Perception / physiology*
Feeding Behavior / physiology*
Polymorphism, Single-Stranded Conformational
Rod Opsins / genetics*
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Rod Opsins

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