, Volume 29, Issue 3, pp 295–305 | Cite as

Changes in the size, composition, and reproductive condition of wild marmoset groups (Callithrix jacchus jacchus) in north east Brazil

  • C. E. Scanlon
  • N. R. Chalmers
  • M. A. O. Monteiro da Cruz


Five groups ofCallithrix jacchus jacchus were studied in the field in north east Brazil. Group size and composition were similar to that described for other callitrichids, but changes in group membership occurred much more frequently than previously reported. There was a 50% turnover in group membership in a six month period, and adult males changed groups particularly often. Most groups contained only one reproductively active female, but there was evidence that one group contained two females that were reproductively active simultaneously. Some groups had several adult females, and the role of reproductive female switched from one individual to another with time.

Individual marmosets are faced with an unusually wide range of alternative life history strategies involving different combinations of location and reproductive condition. We argue that marmoset social organization is best studied at the level of the whole population within an area, rather than at the level of the individual group.

Key Words

Common marmoset Group composition Social organization Life history strategies Emigration 


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Copyright information

© Japan Monkey Centre 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. E. Scanlon
    • 1
  • N. R. Chalmers
    • 1
  • M. A. O. Monteiro da Cruz
    • 2
  1. 1.Biology DepartmentThe Open UniversityMilton KeynesEngland
  2. 2.Universidade Federal Rural de Pernambuco, Rua Dom Manoel de Medeiros, Dois IrmãosRecifeBrasil

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