Fruit scent and observer colour vision shape food-selection strategies in wild capuchin monkeys
Melin, Amanda D.
Williamson, Rachel E.
Garrett, Eva C.
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Citation (published version)Amanda D Melin, Omer Nevo, Mika Shirasu, Rachel E Williamson, Eva C Garrett, Mizuki Endo, Kodama Sakurai, Yuka Matsushita, Kazushige Touhara, Shoji Kawamura. 2019. "Fruit scent and observer colour vision shape food-selection strategies in wild capuchin monkeys.." Nat Commun, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp. 2407 - ?. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-10250-9
The senses play critical roles in helping animals evaluate foods, including fruits that can change both in colour and scent during ripening to attract frugivores. Although numerous studies have assessed the impact of colour on fruit selection, comparatively little is known about fruit scent and how olfactory and visual data are integrated during foraging. We combine 25 months of behavioural data on 75 wild, white-faced capuchins (Cebus imitator) with measurements of fruit colours and scents from 18 dietary plant species. We show that frequency of fruit-directed olfactory behaviour is positively correlated with increases in the volume of fruit odours produced during ripening. Monkeys with red-green colour blindness sniffed fruits more often, indicating that increased reliance on olfaction is a behavioural strategy that mitigates decreased capacity to detect red-green colour contrast. These results demonstrate a complex interaction among fruit traits, sensory capacities and foraging strategies, which help explain variation in primate behaviour.