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Vol. 72, No. 2, 2001
Issue release date: March–April 2001 (July 2001)

Social Organization, Reproduction and Rearing Strategies of Callimico goeldii: New Clues from the Wild

Porter L.M.
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The callitrichines are a specialized radiation of primates that are characterized in part by variable social systems and cooperative infant care. Callimico goeldii, unlike the other callitrichines, have single rather than twin offspring, reducing the need for allocare and permitting synchronous breeding within groups. Low mortality rates among offspring and unstable social groups are suggested to be possible factors that have led to single births among C. goeldii. Single offspring may benefit from greater maternal investment and more frequent food sharing than twin offspring, factors that may help to explain why C. goeldii reaches sexual maturity more rapidly than other callitrichines. In addition, increased breeding opportunities for young C. goeldii females may have selected for rapid maturation rates among this species. Postpartum ovulation and aseasonal resource availability appear to permit females to have biannual birth seasons, further increasing the potential reproductive output.

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