The relationship between locomotor behavior and limb morphology in brown (Cebus apella) and weeper (Cebus olivaceus) capuchins


  • Kristin A. Wright

    Corresponding author
    1. Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Center for Functional Anatomy and Evolution, Baltimore, MD, USA
    • Department of Anatomy, Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences, 1750 Independence Avenue, Kansas City, MO 64106, USA
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This study is a comparison of locomotor behavior and postcranial form in two species of capuchin monkey, the brown capuchin (Cebus apella), and the weeper capuchin (Cebus olivaceus). Behavioral data from groups of wild C. apella and C. olivaceus in Guyana were collected during the period of December 1999 through November 2000. Postcranial variables including 40 measurements and three indices were taken from 43 adult and subadult specimens of C. apella and 14 adult and subadult specimens of C. olivaceus housed in American museums, as well as two wild-caught adult specimens of C. olivaceus from the Georgetown Zoo in Guyana. The results of this study indicate that these two capuchins exhibit similar patterns of locomotor behavior, but that there are important differences in how they move through their homerange, particularly with respect to quadrupedalism. These differences in behavior are reflected in their postcranial morphology and can be related to differences in foraging strategies. This study provides an example of the importance of using more exclusive categories of quadrupedal behaviors when comparing closely related arboreal quadrupeds, as well as an alternative explanation for some of the postcranial features of C. apella that may relate to foraging postures and foraging strategy rather than traditionally categorized patterns of locomotor behavior. Am. J. Primatol. 69:736–756. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.