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Keywords:

  • callitrichid;
  • captivity;
  • haemosiderosis;
  • haemochromatosis;
  • iron storage disease;
  • nutrition

Previous reports in the literature indicate that primate species differ in their iron metabolism. Analyses were carried out of 229 serum samples of 18 different species, including marmosets, lemurs, woolly monkeys, colobines, macaques, baboons and great apes, for transferrin saturation (%TS), an indicator of iron absorption. In correspondence with our expectations based on the literature, lemurs and marmosets had significantly higher %TS values than great apes and macaques/baboons. The findings corroborate patterns previously described in individual studies, and underline that further efforts should be made to understand the reasons and consequences of these differences in iron metabolism.