• principal components analysis;
  • platyrrhines;
  • Atelinae;
  • Pitheciinae;
  • Callitrichinae;
  • locomotion;
  • feeding behavior;
  • habitat;
  • French Guiana;
  • Ecuador


This paper investigates the interrelations of some organismal and habitat parameters in two platyrrhine primate communities in French Guiana and Ecuadorian Amazonia. Fifteen habitat and organismal parameters and body weight were retained after a preliminary analysis, on the basis of frequent use and constraints reflected in anatomical specializations. The 16 parameters for 13 platyrrhine species were used for a series of principal components analyses (PCAs). All PCAs on separate or combined communities provided comparable results. The Atelinae, Ateles, Alouatta, and Lagothrix, were clustered together with Pithecia, associated with canopy, mature forest, frugivory, and (to a lesser degree) climb/suspensory locomotion. On the other hand, the three species of Cebus usually formed a loose cluster, located in the center of the cloud of species. Lastly, the Callitrichinae, involving two species of Saguinus and Cebuella, were relatively dispersed and frequently associated with liana forest, lianas, understory, and faunivory. However, Cebuella was consistently isolated and associated with liana forest, lianas, body weight, understory, and vertical supports. In this way, clusters appeared to conform to the major platyrrhine taxonomic groups, supporting the fact that basic ecological and behavioral adaptations have evolved in a phylogenetic context. In addition, the analyses revealed that body weight, forest type and layer, feeding behavior, and locomotion are the most important variables that have apparently shaped or driven the adaptive zones of extant platyrrhines. Am J Phys Anthropol, 2003. © 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.