International Journal of Primatology

, Volume 16, Issue 6, pp 909-933

Platyrrhine juvenile mortality in captivity and in the wild

  • I. W. J. DebyserAffiliated withFaculty of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Pathology, Division of Laboratory and Exotic Animals

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


I reviewed literature on juvenile mortality in the Platyrrhini in order to evaluate reproductive success in captive breeding. Juvenile mortality includes abortion, premature mortality, stillbirth and death of the unweaned young. The highest losses occur in the Callitrichidae (31% through 3 months of age; 86% through 6 months of age) and in Lagothrixspp. (around 50% through 1 month of age) among the Cebidae. High abortion rates occur in Saguinusand Aotus.High stillbirth incidences are reported for the Callitrichidae (Callithrixand Saguinus)and for the Cebidae (Saimiriand Aotus).Although most mortality occurs in the first week for most species, a considerable proportion of deaths occurs in the period from week 1 until weaning. Important causes of death are trauma and aberrant parental behavior. Prematurity plays an important role in perinatal death among the Callitrichidae. Dystocia is a major cause of stillbirth in Saimiri. Congenital malformations occur in Callithrix, Saguinus, Leontopithecus,and Saimiri.Infectious diseases play a secondary role in mortality, particularly during the first period of life. A higher mortality risk is present if the infant is male, if the litter size is different from two (Callitrichidae), if the mother is primiparous, captive born, or inexperienced, or if the group is small (Callitrichidae) or unstable (Cebidae).

Key Words

juvenile mortality risk factors primates Plathyrrhini Callimiconidae Callitrichidae Cebidae