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Abstract # 1728 Event # 32:

Scheduled for Monday, June 26, 2006 02:40 PM-03:00 PM: Session 4 (Kama B)

Food Quality and Quantity affect the Emission of Food-calls in Common Marmoset (Callithrix jacchus)

A. Vitale1, A. Tedesco2 and F. Chiarotti1
1Section of Behavioural Neuroscience, Department of Cell Biology and Neuroscience, Istituto Superiore Sanita, Viale Regina Elena, 299, Rome 00161, Italy, 2bDipartimento di Biologia dell’Animale e dell’Uomo, Università “La Sapienza”, Roma, Italy
     The aim of this work was to investigate the possible role of food quality and quantity on the emission of food-calls by the common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus). Subjects were housed at the Istituto Superiore di Sanità, in Rome. The vocal emission of 13 isolated individual were studied in three different conditions: i) in the presence of 50g of a preferred food (hard-boiled eggs); ii) in the presence of 50g of a less preferred food (banana); iii) in the presence of four-five small pieces of the preferred food (hard-boiled eggs). The different individuals were exposed to each one of the three conditions for six minutes. An observer recorded the responses using one/zero sampling during 4sec intervals, when the animal was eating and when it was emitting food-calls. The results showed that the marmosets emitted a significantly greater number of food-calls in the presence of the preferred food, compared with the less preferred one. Furthermore, the number of food-calls emitted was significantly higher in the presence of the largest quantity of the preferred food, compared with the smaller one, although the monkeys ate the same quantity of preferred food in the two conditions. The results strongly suggest that the food-calls produced by common marmosets are influenced by the quality and the quantity of the food.