Definitions for callitrichinae
U.S. National Library of Medicine
A subfamily in the family CEBIDAE that consists of four genera: CALLITHRIX (marmosets), CALLIMICO (Goeldi's monkey), LEONTOPITHECUS (lion tamarins), and SAGUINUS (long-tusked tamarins). The members of this family inhabit the tropical forests of South and Central America.
The Callitrichidae is a family of New World monkeys, including marmosets and tamarins. At times this group of animals has been regarded as a subfamily, called Callitrichinae, of the family Cebidae. This taxon was traditionally thought to be a primitive lineage, from which all the larger bodied platyrrhines evolved. However, some works argue that callitrichids are actually a dwarfed lineage. Ancestral stem-callitrichids would likely have been a "normal" sized ceboids that was dwarfed through evolutionary time. This may exemplify a rare example of insular dwarfing in a mainland context, with the "islands" being formed by biogeographic barriers during arid climatic periods when forest distribution became patchy, and/or by the extensive river networks in the Amazon Basin. All callitrichids are arboreal. They are the smallest of the simian primates. They eat insects, fruit, and the sap or gum from trees; occasionally they will take small vertebrates. The marmosets rely quite heavily on exudates, with some species considered obligate exudativores. Callitrichids typically live in small, territorial groups of about 5 or 6 animals. Their social organization is unique among primates and is called a "cooperative polyandrous group". This communal breeding system involves groups of multiple males and females, but only one female is reproductively active. Females mate with more than one male and everyone shares the responsibility of carrying the offspring.
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