, Volume 57, Issue 4, pp 533–540 | Cite as

Vertical bipedal locomotion in wild bearded capuchin monkeys (Sapajus libidinosus)

  • Tiago FalóticoEmail author
  • Agumi Inaba
  • William C. McGrew
  • Eduardo B. Ottoni
Original Article


When carrying objects, nonhuman primates often show bipedal locomotion. Studies of primate bipedality, however, in both nature and captivity, have concentrated on locomotion on horizontal substrates, either terrestrially or arboreally. No observational or experimental study seems to have looked at non-horizontal bipedality, yet we show here that it occurs often in nature in Sapajus libidinosus, the bearded capuchin monkey. The context is transport of small food items from source to site of consumption, in which the monkeys usually carry handfuls of maize kernels over several meters’ distance, both on the ground and in the trees. Most impressively, over a fifth of such bouts are done vertically, when the tree trunk is fully upright. Such vertical bipedality, with or without transport, apparently has not been reported before.


Cebus libidinosus Sapajus libidinosus Bipedality Transport Locomotion 



We thank: FUMDHAM for logistical support, ICMBio/IBAMA for authorization to work in the National Park, and George Reinaldo for helping with data collection. The following grants were obtained: #2013/05219-0 (TF), #2014/04818-0 (EBO), São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP); CNPq (443309/2014-0; PQ—EBO). At time of writing TF was partially funded by the ERC grant #283959 (PRIMARCH). The research was observational only and complied with protocols approved by the Animal Research Ethical Committee of the Institute of Psychology, University of Sao Paulo, and fully adhered to Brazilian law (authorization IBAMA/ICMBio—37615-2).

Supplementary material

10329_2016_542_MOESM1_ESM.mp4 (32.9 mb)
Supplementary material 1 Online Resource 1 Video of pedality variation of wild bearded capuchin monkeys (Sapajus libidinosus) during transport of food. Serra da Capivara National Park, Piauí, Brazil.(MP4 33,642 kb)


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Copyright information

© Japan Monkey Centre and Springer Japan 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tiago Falótico
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Agumi Inaba
    • 3
  • William C. McGrew
    • 3
  • Eduardo B. Ottoni
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Cognitive Ethology, Department of Experimental Psychology, Institute of PsychologyUniversity of Sao PauloSao PauloBrazil
  2. 2.RLAHA, School of ArchaeologyUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK
  3. 3.Department of Archaeology and AnthropologyUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK

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