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Introduction of gum Arabic and guar to the diet of captive black-tufted ear marmosets

By Rafael Pupe, Maria Clotilde Henriques Tavares, Marilia Barros

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Gum plays a significant role in the feeding ecology of wild callitrichids and thus is also supplemented to several primate species in captivity. However, little is known about the feeding habits of black tufted-ear marmosets (including gummivory), in both wild and captive populations. Therefore, the present study introduced gum to the diet of adult captive black tufted-ear marmosets (Callithrix penicillata), analyzing the influence of gum type (Arabic vs. guar), solution level (50, 25 or 15% m/m gum:water) and time of provision (morning vs. afternoon). Gum intake, latency to first consumption, foraging time/frequency and inter-foraging interval were assessed, as well as changes in body weight. Marmosets were pair-tested in their home-cages and randomly divided into three groups (n=6): control (water), gum Arabic or gum guar. Water/gum solution was given twice a day (07:30 to 08:30 and 15:00 to 16:00h), three times a week, during 3 weeks. Each pair was thus submitted to eighteen 30-min trials, with each gum solution being evaluated on three separate occasions during the morning and afternoon periods. Latency to first consumption and foraging were observed only during the first 5-min of each trial. Although water-solubilized gum was promptly consumed, marmosets preferred the Arabic version, with a significantly higher (P

Publication Title Applied Animal Behaviour Science
Volume 133
Issue 3
Pages 246-253
ISBN/ISSN 0168-1591
DOI 10.1016/j.applanim.2011.05.015
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Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Foraging
  2. Gum arabic
  3. Intake