Gustatory Responsiveness of Black-and-White Ruffed Lemurs (Varecia variegata variegata) to Food-Associated Sugars
2015 (English)In: International journal of primatology, ISSN 0164-0291, E-ISSN 1573-8604, Vol. 36, no 3, 460-472 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Nonhuman primates differ widely in various aspects of their ecology and are thus particularly suitable for studying the mechanisms underlying interspecies differences in taste perception. Therefore, we assessed taste preference thresholds as well as relative preferences for five food-associated sugars in three adult black-and-white ruffed lemurs (Varecia variegata variegata) using two-bottle choice tests of brief duration (1 min). We found that the subjects significantly preferred concentrations as low as 25 mM sucrose and fructose, and 50 mM glucose, maltose, and lactose over tap water. When given a choice between all binary combinations of the same five saccharides presented at equimolar concentrations of 50, 100, and 200 mM, respectively, the subjects displayed marked preferences for individual sugars in the following order: sucrose greater than fructose greater than glucose greater than= maltose greater than= lactose. The sensitivity of the black-and-white ruffed lemurs to the five saccharides falls into the same range as that reported in other primates. The pattern of relative preferences for food-associated sugars was found to be largely similar to that reported in platyrrhine primates and in human subjects, but differed from that reported in a catarrhine primate. Taken together, the results of the present study support the notions that the taste sensitivity in primates for food-associated sugars may correlate with phylogenetic relatedness, with body mass, and with lactose content in milk. Further, the results support the notion that relative preferences for food-associated sugars in primates, but not necessarily their sweettaste sensitivity, may correlate with dietary specialization.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
SPRINGER , 2015. Vol. 36, no 3, 460-472 p.
Black-and-white ruffed lemurs; Food-associated sugars; Gustatory responsiveness; Relative sweetness; Taste preference thresholds; Varecia variegata
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-121767DOI: 10.1007/s10764-015-9835-3ISI: 000361133200002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-121767DiVA: diva2:859455