Primate of the Week: Tufted capuchins

Cebus apella

ARKive image GES062043 - Black-capped capuchin

Suborder: Haplorrhini
Infraorder: Simiiformes
Family: Cebidae
Subfamily: Cebinae

ARKive image GES059565 - Black-capped capuchin

Tufted capuchins are easily recognizable due to their black to dark brown cap with black sideburns and dark tufts on either side of the cap just above the ears. They have a paler shoulder and back that range from yellow to red brown. Their legs, hands and tails are dark (Groves, 2001).

ARKive image GES059550 - Black-capped capuchin

Males tend to have darker face compared to females (Emmons and Freer, 1997). Tufted capuchins express sexual dimorphism. Makes are 3.6 kg while females are 2.5 kg (Fleagle, 1999). Males also have larger canines than females (Kay et al., 1988; Masterson, 2003). Although tufted capuchins posses a prehensile tail they tend to use it when feeding and foraging or when slowing their speec (Youlatos, 1999).

ARKive image GES061552 - Black-capped capuchin

Tufted capuchins are found in South America and live in many different habitats in the neotropics (Fragaszy et al., 2004; Mittermeier and van Roosmalen, 1981).

ARKive image GES061801 - Black-capped capuchin

Tufted capuchins are omnivores (Brown and Zunino, 1990). They mainly eat fruit, insects, leaves, nectar, nuts, and pith. Their diet tends to change seasonally (Terborgh, 1983; Spironello, 2001).

ARKive image GES059555 - Black-capped capuchin

Rank in tufted capuchins is age based with older individuals tending to be higher ranking (Izawa, 1980). Groups vary from the teens to twenties with one to several males and several females (Izawa, 1980; Defler, 1982). Females generally remain in their natal group (Janson, 1990) while males emigrate from their natal group at approximately 6 years of age (Robinson and Janson, 1986).

ARKive image GES061468 - Black-capped capuchin

The reproduction is multi male and female but can also be one male unit mating systems (Carosi et al., 2005). Tufted capuchin females also express female choice and are known for soliciating the males for mating (Carosi et al., 2005).

ARKive image GES059554 - Black-capped capuchin

References/read more
Carosi M, Linn GS, Visalberghi E. 2005. The sexual behavior and breeding system of tufted capuchin monkeys (Cebus apella). Adv Stud Behav 35:105-49.
Defler TR. 1982. A comparison of intergroup behavior in Cebus albifrons and C. apella. Primates 23(3):385-92.
Fleagle JG, Mittermeier RA. 1980. Locomotor behavior, body size, and comparative ecology of seven Surinam monkeys. Am J Phys Anth 52:301-314.
Fleagle JG. 1999. Primate adaptation and evolution. San Diego (CA): Academic Pr. 596p.
Fragaszy DM, Baer J, Adams-Curtis L. 1991. Behavioral development and maternal care in tufted capuchins (Cebus apella) and squirrel monkeys (Saimiri sciureus) from birth through seven months. Develop Psychobiol 24(6):375-93.
Fragaszy DM, Adams-Curtis L. 1997. Developmental changes in manipulation in tufted capuchins (Cebus apella) from birth through 2 years and their relation to foraging and weaning. J Comp Psychol 222(2):201-11.
Fragaszy DM, Visalberghi E, Fedigan LM. 2004. The complete capuchin: the biology of the genus Cebus. Cambridge: Cambridge U Pr. 339 p.
Fragaszy DM, Adams-Curtis LE. 1998. Growth and reproduction in captive tufted capuchins (Cebus apella). Am J Primatol 44(3):197-203.
Freese CH, Oppenheimer JR. 1981. The capuchin monkeys, genus Cebus. In: Coimbra-Filho A, Mittermeier RA, editors. Ecology and behavior of neotropical primates, volume 1. Rio de Janeiro: Academia Brasileira de Ciências. p 331-90.
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Izazwa K. 1980. Social behavior of the wild black-capped capuchin (Cebus apella,). Primates 21(4):443-67.
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Janson C. 1985. Aggressive competition and individual food consumption in wild brown capuchin monkeys (Cebus apella). Behav Ecol Sociobiol 18:125-38.
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Janson CH. 1984. The mating system as a determinant of social evolution in capuchin monkeys (Cebus). In: Else JG, Lee PC, editors. Primate ecology and conservation. Cambridge: Cambridge U Pr. p 169-79.
Janson CH. 1990a. Social correlates of individual spatial choice in foraging groups of brown capuchin monkeys, Cebus apella. Anim Behav 40(5):910-21.
Kay RF, Plavcan JM, Glander KE, Wright PC. 1988. Sexual selection and canine dimorphism in new world monkeys. Am J Phys Anth 77(3):385-97.
Martinez RA, Moscarella RA, Aguilera M, Márquez E. 2000. Update on the status of the Margarita Island capuchin (Cebus apella margaritae). Neotrop Prim 8(1):34-5.
Masterson TJ. 2003. Canine dimorphism and interspecific canine form in Cebus. Intl J Primatol 24(1):159-178.
Matheson MD, Johnson JS, Feuerstein J. 1996. Male reunion displays in tufted capuchin monkeys (Cebus apella). Am J Primatol 40(2):183-8.
Mittermeier RA, van Roosmalen MGM. 1981. Preliminary observations on habitat utilization and diet in eight Surinam monkeys. Folia Primatol 36:1-39
Peres CA, Janson CH. 1999. Species coexistence, distribution, and environmental determinants of neotropical primate richness: a community-level zoogeographic analysis. In: Fleagle JG, Janson C, Reed KE, editors. Primate communities. Cambridge: Cambridge U Pr. p 55-74.
Phillips KA, Goodchild LMS. 2005. Reunion displays in captive male brown capuchins (Cebus apella). Primates 46(2):121-5.
Phillips KA, Bernstein IS, Dettmer EL, Devermann H, Powers M. 1994. Sexual behavior in brown capuchins (Cebus apella). Intl J Primatol 15(6):906-17.
Rettig NL. 1978. Breeding behavior of the harpy eagle (Harpia harpyja). Auk 95(4):629-43.
Robinson JG, Janson CH. 1986. Capuchins, squirrel monkeys, and atelines: socioecological convergence with old world primates. In: Smuts BB, Cheney DL, Seyfarth RM, Wrangham RW, Struhsaker TT, editors. Primate societies. Chicago: U Chicago Pr. p 69-82.
Rylands AB, Kierulff MCM, Mittermeier RA. 2005. Notes on the taxonomy and distributions of the tufted capuchin monkeys (Cebus, Ceidae) of south america. Lundiana 6(supplement):97-110.
Sampaio DT, Ferrari SF. 2005. Predation of an infant titi monkey (Callicebus moloch) by a tufted capuchin (Cebus apella). Folia Primatol 76(2):113-5.
Spironello WR. 2001. The brown capuchin monkey (Cebus apella): ecology and home range requirements in central Amazonia. In: Bierregaard RO, Gascon C, Lovejoy TE, Mesquita CG, editors. Lessons from Amazonia: the ecology and conservation of a fragmented forest. New Haven:Yale U Pr. p 271-83..
Valenzuela N. 1994. Early behavioral development of three wild infant Cebus apella in Colombia. In: Roeder JJ, Thierry B, Anderson JR, Herrenschmidt N, editors. Current Primatology, vol 2: Social development, learning and behaviour. Strasbourg (FR): Univ Louis Pasteur. p 297-302.
van Schaik, CP, van Noordwijk, MA. 1989. The special role of male Cebus monkeys in predation avoidance and its effect on group composition. Behav Ecol Sociobiol 24(5):265-76.
Weigel RM. 1979. The facial expressions of the brown capuchin monkey (Cebus apella). Behaviour 68:250-76.
Welker C, Hoehmann H, Schaefer-Witt C. 1990. Significance of kin relations and individual preferences in the social behaviour of Cebus apella. Folia Primatol 54(3-4):166-70.
Wright EM, Bush DE. 1977. The reproductive cycle of the capuchin (Cebus apella). Lab Anim Sci 27(5):651-4.
Youlatos D. 1999. Tail-use in capuchin monkeys. Neotropical Primates 7(1):16-20.


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