Weeper Capuchin (Cebus olivaceus)



MORPHOLOGY:
This species has relatively long limbs compared to trunk size. The weeper capuchin has a prehensile tail. This species is sexually dimorphic. Fingers on this species are short and the thumb is opposable (Fleagle, 1988). The premolars of the weeper capuchin are large, and the molars are square shaped with a thick enamel to help with cracking nuts (Fleagle, 1988).

RANGE:
The weeper capuchin is found in the countries of Brazil, Colombia, French Guiana, Guyana, Suriname, and Venezuela. This species is found in dry and rainforests, and prefers to live in the understory. The weeper capuchin is also found in gallery forests and shrub woodland in Venezuela (Kinzey, 1997).

ECOLOGY:
The weeper capuchin is an omnivorous species that eats fruit, insects, seeds, small vertebrates, buds, shoots, and roots from saplings (Kinzey, 1997). This species is diurnal and is mostly arboreal.

LOCOMOTION:
The weeper capuchin moves through the forest canopy quadrupedally and they use their prehensile tail during feeding (Fleagle, 1988). This species also occasionally leaps and climbs (Gebo, 1989).

SOCIAL BEHAVIOR:
The weeper capuchin has polygamous mating system, although sometimes a subordinate male may copulate with a female (Kinzey, 1997). The social system found in this species is multimale-multifemale (Kinzey, 1997). This species has a matrilineal dominance hierarchy (Kinzey, 1997). The females of this species are philopatric and the males disperse (Kinzey, 1997). Robinson and O'Brien (1991) found that females have greater reproductive success in larger groups (over 15 members) than in small groups. Infanticide is known to occur in the weeper capuchin (Valderrama et al., 1990). Social grooming is an important method of maintaining social bonds within the group. This species sometimes forms mixed-species associations with Saimiri sciureus, and this could occur to increase feeding efficiency and for predator defense (Mendes Pontes, 1997). Dominant females sometimes suckle from lower ranking females, but the lower ranking females are not always lactating (O'Brien, 1988). This behavior is called parasitic nursing (O'Brien, 1988).

VOCAL COMMUNICATION:

OLFACTORY COMMUNICATION:

VISUAL COMMUNICATION:
staring open-mouth face: This is where the eyes are opened wide, the mouth is open with the teeth covered by the lips, and the eyebrows are lowered (Jolly, 1972). This occurs when mobbing a predator or serves to communicate an inhibited threat (Jolly, 1972).

staring bared-teeth scream face: This is where the eye are opened wide, the mouth is open with the corners drawn back so that the teeth and gums are revealed (Jolly, 1972). This display occurs with terror flight (Jolly, 1972).

silent bared-teeth face: This is where the eyes are staring at the stimulus, the eye brows are either relaxed or up, and the corners of the mouth are drawn back allowing the teeth to show (Jolly, 1972). This is used to communicate submission or a friendly approach (Jolly, 1972).

bared-teeth gecker face: This is like silent bared-teeth face only with a rapid noise attached to it (Jolly, 1972). This display occurs with defensive threat calls and during infant squeaks (Jolly, 1972).

lip-smacking face: This is where the eyes are opened wide, and the tongue is moving in and out of the mouth while the jaw is making sucking movements (Jolly, 1972). This is used as a greeting, during sex, and during grooming (Jolly, 1972).

tense-mouth face: This is where the eyes are opened wide, the mouth is narrowed to a slit, and the eyebrows are lowered (Jolly, 1972). This is used to communicate a confident threat or an attack (Jolly, 1972).

TACTILE COMMUNICATION:
social grooming: This is where one individual grooms another and is used to reinforce social bonds.

REPRODUCTION:
The weeper capuchin gives birth to a single offspring.

REFERENCES:
Burton, F. 1995. The Multimedia Guide to the Non-human Primates. Prentice-Hall Canada Inc.

Fleagle, J. G. 1988. Primate Adaptation and Evolution. Academic Press.

Gebo, D.L. 1989. Locomotor and Phylogenetic Considerations in Anthropoid Evolution. Journal of Human Evolution Vol. 18(3), 201-233.

Jolly, A. 1972. The Evolution of Primate Behavior. Macmillan Publishing Co., N.Y.

Kinzey, W.G. 1997. Cebus. in New World Primates: Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior. ed. Warren G. Kinzey, Aldine de Gruyter, New York.

Mendes Pontes, A.R. 1997. Habitat Partitioning Among Primates in Maraca Island, Roraima, Northern Brazilian Amazonia. International Journal of Primatology Vol. 18, 131-157.

O'Brien, T.G. 1988. Parasitic Nursing Behavior in the Wedge-capped Capuchin Monkey (Cebus olivaceus). American Journal of Primatology Vol. 16(4), 341-344.

Robinson, J.G. and O'Brien, T.G. 1991. Adjustments in Birth Sex Ratio in Wedge-capped Capuchin Monkeys. American Naturalist Vol. 138(5), 1173-1186.

Valderrama, X., Srikosamatara, S., and Robinson, J.G. 1990. Infanticide in Wedge-capped Capuchin Monkeys, Cebus olivaceus. Folia Primatologica Vol. 54, 171-176.

Last Updated: May 10, 2007.
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