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Biology of titi monkeys PDF Print E-mail

The titi monkey, genus Callicebus, is a small arboreal monkey that can only be found in South-America. Habitat preferences vary between species, but many seem to prefer forest edges and disturbed forest. San Martin titi monkeys have been observed in different forest types, including humid rainforest and tropical deciduous dry forest. Just like other species, they also seem to prefer forest edges and secondary forest. Titi monkeys can often be found on the lower levels of the forest canopy.

The species is basically frugivorous, but supplements it daily diet with insects, leaves and flowers.

Titi monkeys live in small family groups of a breeding pair with up to four infants. They are very territorial, and defend their territory with loud morning vocalisations at the boundaries. The reports on the size of their home range differs from 0,5 to 20 hectares, and probably depends on the quality of the forest. Home ranges of different groups can overlap.

Every year a breeding female gives birth to a single offspring. Within 48 hours after birth the male starts carrying the baby. Older siblings may also take over the baby for restricted periods. Grooming between group members is common, especially at the end of the day, just before sleeping.

A typical behaviour of titi monkeys, which is not reported from other primates, is tail-twining. When two or more animals sit side-by-side on a branch, they twine their tails. By the time the group settles down to sleep for the night, all animals in the group have their tails entwined. Tail-twining probably serves to strengthen intrafamilial social relationships.

The little research conducted on San Martin titi monkey shows that their biology is comparable that that of other titi monkey species.

 

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