Canine dimorphism and interspecific canine form in Cebus

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I investigated canine dimorphism and interspecific canine form in adult specimens from 4 capuchin species (Cebus albifrons, C. apella, C. capucinus, and C. olivaceus). I used various univariate and multivariate statistics, which are based on 6 variables, to test several hypotheses that are based upon the finding that canine dimorphism is strongly associated with intermale competition in platyrrhines (Kay et al., 1988), Greenfield (1992a), Plavcan and van Schaik (1992, 1994). Results from the indices of canine dimorphism and the unpaired t-tests corroborate the prediction that males of each species possess significantly larger canines than those of females. Large male canines are especially prominent in 2 variables, maxillary and mandibular canine height. Greene's t-test (1989) does not support the prediction that Cebus apella and C. olivaceus possess a larger degree of canine dimorphism relative to C. albifrons and C. capucinus, No interspecific differences in degree of canine dimorphism are indicated by this test. Results of the discriminant function analyses (DFA) do not find that Cebus apella and C. olivaceus possess different canine form relative to C. albifrons and C. capucinus as predicted. However, Cebus apella is differentiated from the untufted capuchins (C. albifrons, C. capucinus, and C. olivaceus) by the DFA. I suggest that intermale competition is the primary selective force underlying the observed morphological patterns; however, it does not explain all the variation associated with canine dimorphism in Cebus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-178
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Primatology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2003


  • C. apella
  • C. capucinus
  • C. olivaeous
  • Canine dimorphism
  • Cebus albifrons


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