Test your knowledge of common marmoset behaviour, facial expressions and calls.

In what circumstances do marmosets groom each other?

  • A – During relaxed socialising
  • B – Following a stressful event
  • C – During an aggressive confrontation
  • D – While hanging upside down

Comment: Social grooming is mainly a positive welfare indicator but it does depend on the context. Allogrooming is mainly performed in relaxed social situations but brief bouts of allogrooming may occur following a stressor.

In what context do marmosets give “tsik” calls?

  • A – Aggressive
  • B – Friendly
  • C – Sexual
  • D – Play

Comment: The tsik call is heard in the context of anxiety and aggression.

How would you interpret this facial expression?

  • A – Play
  • B – Aggressive
  • C – Submissive
  • D – Interest

Comment: This facial expression is a bared-teeth grin a submissive response to aggression.

How would you interpret this behaviour?

  • A – Hunger
  • B – Sexually soliciting
  • C – Part of grooming repertoire
  • D – Rude

Comment: This behaviour is seen in the context of sexual behaviour.

How would you interpret this facial expression?

  • A – Aggressive
  • B – Submissive
  • C – Playful
  • D – Amicable

Comment: This facial expression is a slit-stare, a submissive response.

Your (male and female) marmosets show a marked increase in anogenital scent–marking. Why?

  • A – They are stressed?
  • B – The female is fertile?
  • C – They are marking out their “territory” in a clean cage?
  • D – They are relaxed?

Comment: Excessive scent marking in captivity is a negative welfare indicator. It increases following a cage clean and therefore it is best to transfer some scent with the marmosets (e.g. do not change all branches simultaneously).

Increased locomotion can be seen in response to?

  • A – Novelty or stress
  • B – High humidity
  • C – Thirst or hunger
  • D – Separation

Comment: Changes in the quantity of agitated locomotion can indicate changes in welfare state. Locomotion can increase for several hours after a stressful event and in response to novelty.

Self-scratching increases in response to?

  • A – Anxiety or tension
  • B – Gouging and eating
  • C – A bout of social play
  • D – The presence of insects

Comment: Self-scratching is mainly a negative welfare indicator and especially if excessive.

If you heard this noise would it be...

  • A – A positive welfare indicator?
  • B – A negative welfare indicator?
  • C – Ambiguous?

Comment: This is the twitter call.

If you heard this noise coming from the colony rooms would you...

  • A – Recognise it as an indication of good welfare?
  • B – Investigate as soon as possible?
  • C – Ignore the vocalisation (it is the commonest marmoset vocalisation)?

Comment: This extended squeal call indicates that a marmoset is being bullied by another group member. This situation requires immediate attention.

In this call...

  • A – An aggressive call?
  • B – An alarm call?
  • C – A call made mainly in social, non-threatening situations?

Comment: This is the chirp call, a positive welfare indicator heard friendly close contact within-group contexts.

In which context would you be most likely to hear this call?

  • A – When the marmosets are at ease?
  • B – When the caller is giving a submissive response?
  • C – When a strange human enters the colony room?

Comment: This call is the rapid-fire tsik or the mobbing call, a negative welfare indicator if persistent. If you hear this call when you enter the room you are probably viewed as a predator.

This call...

  • A – Is heard very frequently within groups?
  • B – Is used only rarely to communicate over long distances?
  • C – Is an alarm call?

Comment: This is the whirr call, a within-group contact call and the most frequently heard of common marmoset calls.