Responses to urine odor in the tufted capuchin (Cebus apella)


When the tufted capuchin urinates, it frequently performs “urine-washing”. Previous studies have proposed several hypotheses about this behavior. This study investigated 1) whether the tufted capuchin can distinguish the urine odor of conspecific individuals from other groups, and 2) whether the capuchins can distiguish conspcific urine odor of from that of other species. When an odor bar that had been prepared in conspecific other group's cage was presented, the response (sniffing, licking, or biting) was significantly greater than that to any other odors, including that of the home group, 5 other species, or a neutral odor. This tendency was stronger in males than in females. and suggests that the tufited capuchin is able to discriminate its home group's urine odor from that of the other groups. This monkey may also discriminate its own species from others by urine odor. The sex difference of the response to the odor bar may be the result of differences in social role between males and females. These results support the idea that the tufted capuchin may use olfaction for social communication.

DOI: 10.1007/BF02350052

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@article{Ueno2006ResponsesTU, title={Responses to urine odor in the tufted capuchin (Cebus apella)}, author={Yoshikazu Ueno}, journal={Journal of Ethology}, year={2006}, volume={12}, pages={81-87} }