Sexual dimorphism in canine length of woolly spider monkeys (Brachyteles arachnoides, E. Geoffroy 1806)

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We measured canine teeth from 28 woolly spider monkeys (Brachyteles arachnoides) to assess sexual dimorphism and population differences. The specimens are from the Brazilian states of Bahia, Minas Gerais, Espírito Santo, Rio de Janeiro, and São Paulo. We found strong sexual dimorphism in canine length for individuals belonging to populations south of 22°00′ latitude but no sexual dimorphism in canine length from individuals of populations north of 21°00′ latitude. Canine length did not vary among females of northern and southern populations. However, southern males had significantly longer canines than northern males. This geographical difference in canine morphology, together with the presence or absence of thumbs and published accounts of differences in genetics and social structure between northern and southern populations, suggests that Brachyteles arachnoides may be composed of at least two subspecies, which appear to be separated by the rivers Grande and Paraiba do Sul and the Serra da Mantiqueira. © 1993 Plenum Publishing Corporation.






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Lemos de Sá, RM, TR Pope, TT Struhsaker and KE Glander (1993). Sexual dimorphism in canine length of woolly spider monkeys (Brachyteles arachnoides, E. Geoffroy 1806). International Journal of Primatology, 14(5). pp. 755–763. 10.1007/BF02192189 Retrieved from

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Thomas T Struhsaker

Adjunct Professor of Evolutionary Anthropology

Formally retired. Advising on conservation action plan for Africa's 18 taxa of red colobus monkeys. Compiling and helping to archive a large collection of photographs of red colobus monkeys. Continuing to publish notes.


Kenneth Earl Glander

Professor Emeritus of Evolutionary Anthropology

Primate ecology and social organization: the interaction between feeding patterns and social structure; evolutionary development of optimal group size and composition; factors affecting short and long-term demographic changes in stable groups; primate use of regenerating forests.

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