International Journal of Primatology

, Volume 11, Issue 4, pp 327–337 | Cite as

Reactions of wild tamarins,Saguinus mystax andSaguinus fuscicollis to avian predators

  • Eckhard W. Heymann


During a field study in northeastern Peru, the reactions of a group ofSaguinus mystax on Padre Isla and of a mixed-species troop ofS. mystax andSaguinus fuscicollis at the Río Blanco to raptorial and other birds were observed. Alarms that are specific to flying stimuli were elicited by birds of prey, but other birds that do not represent a threat to the tamarins also caused alarm calls. Alarm events (i.e., instances when one or more alarm calls were given) were observed at rates of 0.3/hr (Padre Isla) and 0.5/hr (Río Blanco). Rates of alarm events significantly increased after the birth of an infant in the Padre Isla group and after the attack of an ornate hawk-eagle (Spizaetus ornatus) on the Río Blanco group. Reactions to alarming stimuli/alarm calls ranged from looking up to falling down from trees. The modification of the tamarins' behavior by the potential presence of aerial predators indicates that raptors represent an important predatory threat to tamarins.

Key Words

Tamarins Saguinus mystax Saguinus fuscicollis alarm behavior avian predators 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eckhard W. Heymann
    • 1
  1. 1.Deutsches PrimatenzentrumGöttingenFederal Republic of Germany

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