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Normal and Defective Colour Vision$
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John D. Mollon, Joel Pokorny, and Ken Knoblauch

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780198525301

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198525301.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 20 October 2021

Did Primate Trichromacy Evolve for Frugivory or Folivory?

Did Primate Trichromacy Evolve for Frugivory or Folivory?

(p.21) Chapter 3 Did Primate Trichromacy Evolve for Frugivory or Folivory?
Normal and Defective Colour Vision

P Sumner

J. D Mollon

Oxford University Press

Two hypotheses have been proposed to explain the selective advantage of primate trichromacy. According to the frugivory hypothesis, the advantage lay in finding fruit amongst foliage. In contrast, the folivory hypothesis states that the advantage of trichromatic vision lay in the detection of reddish/brown colouration in the edible leaves of some tropical plants. This chapter considers evidence and arguments for the frugivory and folivory hypotheses. Spectroradiometric evidence is consistent with both the folivory and frugivory hypotheses, and tests of intraspecific differences in foraging success between dichromatic and trichromatic individuals are yet to be reported. Thus, there is at present no primary evidence that distinguishes between the two theories.

Keywords:   primates, colour vision, frugivory, folivory, trichromacy, selective advantage

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