Interactions between infant growth and survival: Evidence for selection on age-specific body weight in captive common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus)



The objective of this study is to investigate factors influencing infant survival in captive common marmosets. We investigated the influence of age-specific weight, litter size, caging, and the presence of helpers on survival to 6 months of age in 189 Callithrix jacchus infants. Infant survival was analyzed using Cox Proportional Hazards regression, and fitness functions were plotted to explore the relationship between survival and growth. Results indicate that weights at birth and 120 days significantly affect future survival probability. Litter size significantly influences survival prior to 60 days of age with larger litters having poorer survival. Males and females did not have significantly different survival and the presence of helpers in the group did not influence survival probability. Patterns of survival with respect to age-specific weights suggest stabilizing selection on birth weight and directional selection on weight at 120 days of age. Am. J. Primatol. 42:269–280, 1997. © 1997 Wiley-Liss, Inc.