The role of novelty and fat and sugar concentration in food selection by captive tufted capuchins (Sapajus apella)

Heuberger, B., Paukner, A. ORCID: 0000-0002-3421-1864, Wooddell, L.J., Kasman, M. and Hammond, R.A., 2020. The role of novelty and fat and sugar concentration in food selection by captive tufted capuchins (Sapajus apella). American Journal of Primatology. ISSN 0275-2565

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Abstract

Capuchins, like other primates, use feedback from sensory cues and digestion to make decisions about which foods to consume and which to avoid. However, little is known about how capuchins make consumption decisions when simultaneously presented with novel and familiar foods, or how food familiarity and macronutrient concentration together influence food choice, topics with potential implications for developmental and health research. In this study, we evaluated the role of familiarity, as well as fat and sugar concentration, in the food selections of captive tufted capuchins (Sapajus apella). In the first experiment, over ten sessions, subjects were assigned to either a group that chose between one familiar and one novel food item both high in fat or sugar (high condition), or to a group that chose between one familiar and one novel food item both low in fat or sugar (low condition). In the second experiment, subjects were divided into three groups, familiarized with a food over five feeding sessions, and then offered the familiarized food and a novel food that varied in fat or sugar for 10 sessions. When offered foods high in fat, capuchins showed no clear signs of neophobia, forming an initial preference for the novel food, rejecting foods less frequently, and selecting foods faster than when offered foods low in fat. These trends were generally not observed in response to foods with sugar. When presented with options that varied in macronutrient concentration, subjects showed an initial interest in the novel food irrespective of whether it was high in fat or sugar, yet formed a final preference for the higher-concentration item. Findings suggest that the concentration of fat or sugar in novel foods may be an important mediator of exploratory behavior, and that capuchins rely on immediate feedback from taste and other sensory cues to make consumption decisions.

Item Type: Journal article
Alternative Title: Food selection behavior of capuchins [running title]
Publication Title: American Journal of Primatology
Creators: Heuberger, B., Paukner, A., Wooddell, L.J., Kasman, M. and Hammond, R.A.
Publisher: Wiley on behalf of The American Society of Primatologists
Date: 2 July 2020
ISSN: 0275-2565
Identifiers:
NumberType
10.1002/ajp.23165DOI
1344124Other
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Jill Tomkinson
Date Added: 20 Jul 2020 10:53
Last Modified: 20 Jul 2020 10:53
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/40251

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