Cebidae

Cebidae

The Cebidae form one of the four families of New World monkeys now recognised. It includes the marmosets, tamarins, capuchin monkeys and squirrel monkeys. They are found throughout tropical and subtropical South and Central America.

Characteristics

Cebid monkeys are arboreal animals that only rarely travel on the ground. They are generally small monkeys, ranging in size from the Pygmy Marmoset, with a head-body length of 17 to 19 cm, and a weight of 120 to 190 grams, to the Brown Capuchin, with a body length of 33 to 56 cm, and a weight of 2.5 to 3.9 kilograms. They are somewhat variable in form and coloration, but all have the wide, flat, noses typical of New World Monkeys.

They are omnivorous, mostly eating fruit and insects, although the proportions of these foods vary greatly between species. They have the dental formula:

Females give birth to one or two young after a gestation period of between 130 and 170 days, depending on species. They are social animals, living in groups of between five and forty individuals, with the smaller species typically forming larger groups. They are generally diurnal in habit.

Classification

Previously, New World monkeys were divided between the Callitrichidae and this family, but modern classifications place the genera from Callitrichidae as a subfamily in Cebidae (named Callitrichinae), while moving other genera into the other families. As it is most widely recognised today, Cebidae includes six genera organised into three subfamilies, though one of these genera is currently purely formal in that it contains only a single species.

Extinct taxa

References

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