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Keywords:

  • tamarin;
  • Goeldi’s monkey;
  • locomotor behavior;
  • anatomy;
  • leaping

Abstract

We present the results of a 4-month field investigation of positional behavior, vertical ranging, and species differences in limb proportions and body mass in a mixed-species troop of Saguinus fuscicollis, Saguinus labiatus, and Callimico goeldii in northwestern Brazil. Despite certain similarities in overall positional repertoire, patterns of positional behavior varied significantly between species. Travel in Callimico occurred principally in the lowest levels of the canopy, and was characterized by an exaggerated form of hindlimb-dominated bounding (bounding-hop), and leaping to and from vertical trunks (55.1% of leaps). In contrast, saddle-back tamarins traveled in the lower and middle levels of the canopy, and engaged in a range of leaping behaviors, including stationary leaps (37.3%), acrobatic leaps (31.3%), and trunk-to-trunk leaps (20%). Red-bellied tamarins exploited the highest levels of the arboreal canopy. Travel in this species was dominated by quadrupedal bounding and acrobatic leaps (67% of leaps) that began and ended on thin, flexible supports. Species differences in positional behavior correlated with species differences in limb proportions and locomotor anatomy, and provide a framework for understanding niche partitioning in mixed-species troops of Saguinus and Callimico. Am. J. Primatol. 54:17–31, 2001. © 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc.