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Keywords:

  • tamarins;
  • infant survival;
  • hybrid vigor;
  • subspecies

Abstract

The effect of hybridization on infant survival was investigated in subspecific crosses of the saddle-back tamarin (Saguinus fuscicollis) at the Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) Marmoset Research Center (Oak Ridge, TN). Cox Proportional Hazards Regression was used to compare infant survival between (1) pure subspecies, (2) F1, F2, and backcrossed hybrids, and (3) hybrids and their parental subspecies. Also, effects of management changes, sex, and litter size on infant survival were investigated. There were no significant differences in infant survival between the pure subspecies. Also, degree of hybridization (F1, F2, or backcross) did not have a significant effect on infant survival. Progeny of hybrid crosses between S. f. lagonotus and S. f. illigeri was found to have significantly (P < 0.05) higher infant survival than both of their parental subspecies. Individuals born after diet and management changes in the colony had significantly (P < 0.05) higher survival than those born before. There were no significant sex differences in infant survival. Individuals born into triplet litters had significantly (P < 0.05) lower survival than those born into twin litters. These results show heterosis (hybrid vigor) for infant survival in one subspecific S. fuscicollis cross (S. f. lagonotus × S. f. illigeri). The results suggest genetic divergence between the subspecies populations and possible reproductive isolation in the wild. © 1994 Wiley-Liss, Inc.