Age differences in neophilia, exploration, and innovation in family groups of callitrichid monkeys
Article first published online: 6 JUN 2005
© 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
American Journal of Primatology
Volume 66, Issue 2, pages 167–188, June 2005
How to Cite
Kendal, R.L., Coe, R.L. and Laland, K.N. (2005), Age differences in neophilia, exploration, and innovation in family groups of callitrichid monkeys. Am. J. Primatol., 66: 167–188. doi: 10.1002/ajp.20136
- Issue published online: 6 JUN 2005
- Article first published online: 6 JUN 2005
- Manuscript Accepted: 4 NOV 2004
- Manuscript Revised: 2 NOV 2004
- Manuscript Received: 16 JAN 2004
- Royal Society
- age differences;
The prevailing assumption in the primate literature is that young or juvenile primates are more innovative than adult individuals. This innovative tendency among the young is frequently thought to be a consequence, or side effect, of their increased rates of exploration and play. Conversely, Reader and Laland's [International Journal of Primatology 22:787–806, 2001] review of the primate innovation literature noted a greater reported incidence of innovation in adults than nonadults, which they interpreted as (in part) a reflection of the greater experience and competence of older individuals. Within callitrichids there is contradictory evidence for age differences in response to novel objects, foods, and foraging tasks. By presenting novel extractive foraging tasks to family groups of callitrichid monkeys in zoos, we examined, in a large sample, whether there are positive or negative relationships of age with neophilia, exploration, and innovation, and whether play or experience most facilitates innovation. The results indicate that exploration and innovation (but not neophilia) are positively correlated with age, perhaps reflecting adults' greater manipulative competence. To the extent that there was evidence for play in younger individuals, it did not appear to contribute to innovation. The implications of these findings for the fields of innovation and conservation through reintroduction are considered. Am. J. Primatol. 66:167–188, 2005. © 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.