Callitrichinae

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Hapalinae
Missing image
Callitrichidae-drawing.jpg
Callitrichinae


Scientific classification
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Mammalia
Order:Primates
Family:Cebidae
Subfamily:Callitrichinae
Gray, 1821
Genera

Callithrix
Leontopithecus
Saguinus
Callimico

The Callitrichinae (synonym Hapalinae) are a subfamily within the family Cebidae, one of the four families of New World monkeys. The subfamily includes several genera, including the marmosets and tamarins. Until recently this group of animals were regarded as a separate family, called the Callitrichidae, and this classification will still be encountered in much current literature.

All callitrichines are arboreal. They are the smallest of the anthropoid (i.e. simian) primates. They eat insects, fruit, and the sap or gum from trees; occasionally they will take small vertebrates.

Callitrichines typically live in small, territorial groups of about 5 or 6 animals. They are the only primate group that regularly produce twins, which constitute over 80% of births in species that have been studied. Unlike other male primates, male hapalines generally provide as much parental care as females, more in some cases. Typical social structure seems to constitute a breeding group, with several of their previous offspring living in the group and providing significant help in rearing the young.

Studies in captivity, and the first field studies, suggested that the breeding group was invariably a single monogamous pair; subsequent field work on Brown-mantled Tamarins (Saguinus fuscicollis), has shown that many of the groups involve multiple males, and polyandry seems to be the commonest arrangement, though monogamous pairs do occur, and so, though rarely, does polygyny. In polyandrous groups, both (or all) the mature males regularly copulate with the female, and all contribute equally to parental care. It is now thought that this flexible system, with a tendency towards polyandry, may be the typical mating system among hapalines, though until field studies on more species have been completed any generalisation must be tentative.

Species list

Subfamily Callitrichinae

References

  • Goldizen, A. W. (1988). Tamarin and marmoset mating systems: Unusual flexibility. Trends in Ecology and Evolution, 3, 36-40.

External links

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