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Durham University

Department of Anthropology


Publication details for Dr Jeremy Kendal

Day, R.L., Coe, R.L., Kendal, J.R. & Laland, K.N. (2003). Neophilia, innovation and social learning: A study of intergeneric differences in Callitrichid monkeys. Animal Behaviour 65: 559-571.

Author(s) from Durham


In a comparative study of neophilia, innovation and social attentiveness we exposed individuals in seven callitrichid species, from three genera, to novel extractive foraging tasks. The results revealed consistently shorter response latencies, higher levels of successful and unsuccessful manipulation, and greater attentiveness to the task and to conspecifics in Leontopithecus (lion tamarins) than in both Saguinus (tamarins) and Callithrix (marmosets). This is consistent with the hypothesis that species dependent upon
manipulative and explorative foraging tend to be less neophobic and more innovative than other species. Furthermore, Callithrix appeared to be less neophobic than Saguinus; if Callithrix is regarded as the greater specialist, this result is inconsistent with the hypothesis that neophobia is associated with foraging specialization. We consider the relevance of our findings to taxonomic relationships, and to technical and Machiavellian intelligence hypotheses and discuss the implications for captive breeding and
reintroduction strategies.