Effects of sibling-rearing experience on future reproductive success in two species of callitrichidae

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Abstract

The survival rate for offspring of mothers who either had or did not have previous experience rearing younger siblings was compared in two callitrichid species, Callithrix jacchus and Saguinus oedipus. Offspring of mothers with sibling-rearing experience had a higher survival percentage than offspring of inexperienced mothers in both species. While 50–60% of offspring of inexperienced C. jacchus mothers survived, no offspring of inexperienced S. oedipus mothers survived. The results suggest that sibling-rearing experience is necessary for adequate maternal behavior in S. oedipus, but not necessary to the development of maternal behavior in C. jacchus. Effects of previous sibling-rearing experience of S. oedipus fathers on offspring survival were also examined. Whether the father had rearing experience was not related to the survival of their offspring.

Ancillary