Social organization in a wild population of Callithrix jacchus. I. Group composition and dynamics.
Data are presented on group dynamics in a wild population of the common marmoset, Callithrix jacchus, in northeastern Brazil. Three marked and habituated groups were observed, and composition noted, for at least 5 days a month over 12-18 consecutive months. Group sizes ranged from 5 to 15 individuals, and changes in group composition were the result of births, immigrations, and disappearances. No immigrations into the main study groups were observed throughout the study period. None of the three known emigrants was known to join an established or incipient group for up to 10 weeks after their departure. One group contained only breeding individuals and their offspring. Observations of recruitment and loss in the other two groups suggest that they, too, were extended family groups. The group dynamics described in studies of other populations of Callithrix suggest that extended family groups, or at least groups consisting of breeding individuals and their close relatives, may be characteristic of those populations.
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