, Volume 49, Issue 2, pp 143–145 | Cite as

Observed case of maternal infanticide in a wild group of black-fronted titi monkeys (Callicebus nigrifrons)

  • Cristiane Cäsar
  • Eduardo Silva Franco
  • Gabriela de Castro Nogueira Soares
  • Robert John YoungEmail author
Short communication


A maternal infanticide was observed in a group of unprovisioned wild black-fronted titi monkeys (Callicebus nigrifrons). An approximately 3-day-old male infant was killed by his mother. A post-mortem revealed the infant to be clinically healthy. We considered various hypotheses to explain why this behavior occurred (e.g., reproductive advantage, stress, nutritional, infant viability and population density). It is noteworthy that the mother and not the father killed the infant, since in this species the father provides considerable infant care from a few hours after birth.


Black fronted-titi monkey Callicebus nigrifrons Maternal infanticide Post-mortem 



We are grateful to Padres Wilson and Sebastian for allowing us to work in their reserve, and to Consuelo and Aline for their support. This study was generously funded by FAPEMIG and PUC Minas. Professors Hannah Buchanan-Smith and Karen Strier kindly commented on an earlier version of this manuscript, and Dr. Eckhard Heymann provided relevant literature. We are greatly indebted to Marcelo Malta for performing the post-mortem. Furthermore, we would like to thank all past members of this long-term project: Danusa Guedes, Sandra Quadros, André Nahur, Maira Assunção, Paulo Neves and Manuella Sena. Furthermore, we are grateful to IBAMA for quickly releasing the license to transport the infant’s corpse. We can confirm that all of the research reported in this article was conducted in compliance with all relevant Brazilian laws.


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Copyright information

© Japan Monkey Centre and Springer 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cristiane Cäsar
    • 1
  • Eduardo Silva Franco
    • 1
  • Gabriela de Castro Nogueira Soares
    • 1
  • Robert John Young
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Conservation, Ecology and Animal Behaviour Group, Prédio 41, Mestrado em ZoologiaPontifícia Universidade Católica de Minas GeraisBelo HorizonteBrazil

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