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Response To Novel Objects in Three Lower Primates : Greater Galago, Slow Loris, and Owl Monkey

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Exploratory behavior, defined as response to novel objects, was measured in representatives of three lower primate species -greater galago, slow loris, and owl monkey. Test apparatus was a two-compartment cage; animals could choose between remaining on the familiar, home cage side or entering the novel side which contained six manipulable objects. Galagos spent the most time in contact with objects and the least time in retreat to the home cage. Owl monkeys and lorises were less responsive to the test objects but, while lorises actively explored spatial features of the new environment, owl monkeys remained inactive. For all species: i) the greatest degree of responsiveness to novel objects occurred during the first 5 min. of the 15-min. session. 2) initial object contacts were made with the nose; these were brief and were followed by lengthier contacts with mouth and hands. 3) occurrence of the various behavioral categories (object contacts, active responses, inactive responses, and retreat) followed a consistent pattern.

Affiliations: 1: California State College, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.

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