, Volume 34, Issue 2, pp 133-140

First online:

Role of some physical characteristics in species recognition by pigtail monkeys

  • Kazuo FujitaAffiliated withDepartment of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, Primate Research Institute, Kyoto University

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Three adult pigtail monkeys pressed a lever to see pictures of pigtail and Japanese monkeys with a variety of physical features being removed. The features included head, tail, body, background, and color. The duration and the interval of exposure of these visual stimuli were dependent upon subjects' responding. Preferences for those pictures were evaluated by the ratio of lever-pressing duration to interval of lever-pressing. Two of the subjects showed a consistent preference to see pictures of pigtail monkeys over those of Japanese monkeys. Though this preference tended to maintain when these physical features were removed, it became relatively weak when head and head + tail were removed. These results suggest that pigtail macaques may discriminate species based not on a single characteristics but on some combination of features, and that head may be relatively important than the other features.

Key Words

Species recognition Social perception Social preference Visual preference Releaser Sensory reinforcement Pigtail monkeys