For emergency only: terrestrial feeding in Coimbra-Filho’s titis reflects seasonal arboreal resource availability

João Pedro Souza-Alves, Fabricio B. Baccaro, Isadora P. Fontes, Marcela A. Oliveira, Nichollas Magalhães O. Silva, Adrian A. Barnett

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Terrestriality in Platyrrhine primates is primarily associated with low arboreal resource availability, low predation risk when on the ground and increased contact time with human observers. To test the relationship between these variables and ground use frequency, we studied a group of endangered Coimbra-Filho’s titi monkeys (Callicebus coimbrai) in a 14-ha forest fragment in north-eastern Brazil. Terrestriality data were collected on a monthly basis (33 months) using scan sampling procedures from July 2008 to July 2012. Overall, Coimbra-Filho’s titi monkeys were recorded during 0.6% of observation time (113 out of 18,164 scans) on the ground. Most of the time on the ground was spent feeding on young leaves (71 records) and the least amount of time on fruits (14 records). Availability of arboreal foods, rainfall, and time of contact with human observers did not influence overall terrestrial behaviour (ground use). However, the timing and nature of the monkeys’ terrestrial feeding was strongly related to the absence of arboreal fruit (β-estimate = −3.078) and young leaf (β-estimate = −3.515) food resources. We suggest that terrestrial feeding by Coimbra-Filho’s titi monkeys could be an adaptation to low arboreal fruit availability and the exploitation of alternative food resources.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)199-206
Number of pages8
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Arboreal food resources
  • Brazil
  • Callicebus coimbrai
  • Human habituation
  • Predation risk
  • Predator-sensitive foraging


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