Use of Olfactory Cues in Foraging by Owl Monkeys (Aotus nancymai) and Capuchin Monkeys (Cebus apella)

Rosina H. Bolen, Steven Green

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The authors tested free-ranging New World monkeys (nocturnal owl monkeys [Aotus nancymai] and diurnal capuchin monkeys [Cebus apella]) to determine the extent to which they use olfactory cues to locate food hidden in containers at 2 of 6 feeding sites within a 11/2-ha forested enclosure. These 2 sites were selected randomly for each trial and then were baited with banana and banana peel residue. The 4 other sites were unbaited and unscented. In trials in which the food was not visible to the monkeys, Aotus monkeys located the baited sites at a level greater than expected by chance, whereas Cebus monkeys did not. Use of olfactory information by Aotus monkeys in foraging may be an adaptation for nocturnal foraging because olfactory cues are more salient than visual cues at low light levels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)152-158
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Comparative Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 1997
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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