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Keywords:

  • birth mass;
  • birth weight;
  • common marmoset;
  • development;
  • neonatal behavior;
  • survival

A seven-task behavioral test was performed on 86 common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus) infants, 24–36 h following birth. This report describes the test outcome and its relation to physical condition and survival of the infants. The percentage of infants receiving a perfect score on a given task ranged from 30.6 (rooting) to 70.6% (grasping). Heavier infants were more likely to have perfect scores for crawling (F=4.20, P=0.044) and infants with a longer knee–heel length tended to be more likely to have a perfect grasping score (F=3.63, P=0.06). While the modal score was a perfect score for most individual tasks, the modal number of total perfect scores that a given infant received was 3–4 and only 4.7% of infants received perfect scores on all seven tasks. These results suggest that this group of behavioral tasks will produce a variable response within a population of neonates. While no individual behavioral score predicted survival during week 1, the number of perfect scores across all tasks was predictive of survival outcome; infants with a higher total number of perfect scores were more likely to survive (F=6.02, P=0.018). When all combinations of tests were compared, the best predictor of survival was outcome on four of the seven tests, all related to motor skills (F=7.46, P=0.009).