How tree shrews (Tupaia belangeri) perform in a searching task: Evidence for strategy use

Alessandro Bartolomucci, Gabriel De Biurrun, Eberhard Fuchs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


This study investigated how male tree shrews (Tupaia belangen) performed in a searching task while in their home cages and assessed whether different food distributions affected their performance. The animals were faced with a holeboard containing 9 food sources arranged in a 3 × 3 matrix or in 3 clusters, each containing 3 sources. Animals tended to start and end the trials from preferred locations, thereafter solving the task by strategically organizing the reward collection according to a minimum-distance principle. In the cluster configuration, they visited the sources hierarchically. Food distribution did not affect the performance. Comparison with data from mice and capuchin monkeys revealed that tree shrews and capuchins solved the task in a similar strategic way, whereas mice did not. These findings attract particular attention because of the phylogenetic position of tree shrews, which are regarded as closely related to primates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)344-350
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Comparative Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2001


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