, Volume 31, Issue 3, pp 323-338

Predator avoidance behaviour in the buffy-headed marmoset,Callithrix flaviceps

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The predator avoidance behaviour of a free-ranging group of buffy-headed marmosets,Callithrix flaviceps, was recorded in detail during the course of a long-term study of behavioural ecology at the Fazenda Montes Claros, southeastern Brazil. Four distinct patterns of predator avoidance behaviour, each with specific vocalisations, were recognised and are described here. The selection and use of sleeping sites by the study group are also described. An analysis of the records indicates that these small monkeys are generally most vulnerable to predation by aerial raptors. Variations in the frequency of alarm calls also indicate that the marmosets tend to be more vigilant at higher levels in the forest and when the leaf cover is less extensive. The implications of group size and social structure for both the evolution and the efficacy of the anti-predator behaviour of marmosets are also discussed.