Optimal foraging theory predicts effects of environmental enrichment in a group of adult golden lion tamarins

  • Published source details Rapaport L.G. (1998) Optimal foraging theory predicts effects of environmental enrichment in a group of adult golden lion tamarins. Zoo Biology, 17, 231-244


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Primates: Present food in puzzle feeders

Action Link
Management of Captive Animals
  1. Primates: Present food in puzzle feeders

    A before-and-after study in 1998 in the USA (Rapaport 1998) found that the increased difficulty level of finding food distributed in puzzle feeders (but not the amount of food given) decreased food sharing and increased aggression in golden lion tamarins Leontopithecus rosalia. The mean frequency per minute of food sharing went from 0.25/minute with the simple task to 0.15/minute with the complex task. The mean frequency of aggressive behaviour went from 0.05/minute in the simple task to 0.15/minute in the complex task. A 15 hole puzzle box containing grapes behind sliding doors was installed for 40 days. Four, eight or twelve grapes were given and two difficulty levels established: the animal either had to reach into a tube to retrieve the grapes (simple) or rummage and rip away a barrier to retrieve the food (complex). Two observers recorded the monkeys (n=4) food transfer behaviours and aggression until all grapes were consumed.    (CJ)


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