Maintenance of cotton-top tamarins fed an experimental pelleted diet versus a highly diverse sweetened diet.

S. D. Tardif, N. K. Clapp, M. A. Henke, R. L. Carson, J. J. Knapka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The future study of colon disease in captive callitrichid colonies may require manipulation of diets. The limited knowledge of the nutritional requirements for these species and the varied diets and supplementations fed to these animals in various colonies suggest the importance of testing the palatability and acceptability of diets for these primates. Individually housed cotton-top tamarins (Saguinus oedipus) were given either the regular Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) diet (monkey chow slurry, canned diet and supplements), a similar slurry using an experimental natural ingredient diet plus supplements, or the experimental diet without supplements. Neither dry food consumption, body weight, fecal output, nor the histological evaluation of the colons were affected by these diets. Daily intake of protein and calories were higher than previously reported estimates for the species. These results demonstrate that a natural ingredient non-sweetened pelleted diet is palatable for cotton-top tamarins for a period of 3.5 months, however, further testing over longer time periods is necessary. The nonnutritional (e.g. psychological) advantages of providing a highly diverse diet to primates housed in a relatively monotonous environment should be considered before adopting such a diet for an entire colony.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)588-591
Number of pages4
JournalLaboratory animal science
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • veterinary(all)


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