Hooded capuchins

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Hooded capuchins
Four types of hooded capuchin, clockwise from top left: the golden capuchin (S. flavius), the yellow-breasted capuchin (S. xanthosternos), the back-stripe capuchin (S. libidinosus) and the black capuchin (S. nigritus)

Four types of hooded capuchin, clockwise from top left:
the golden capuchin ( S. flavius ), the yellow-breasted capuchin ( S. xanthosternos ), the back-stripe capuchin ( S. libidinosus ) and the black capuchin ( S. nigritus )

Subordination : Dry- nosed primates (Haplorrhini)
Partial order : Monkey (anthropoidea)
without rank: New World Monkey (Platyrrhini)
Family : Capuchins (Cebidae)
Subfamily : Capuchin monkey (Cebinae)
Genre : Hooded capuchins
Scientific name
Kerr , 1792

The hooded capuchins ( Sapajus ) are a genus of primates from the group of New World monkeys . They are forest-dwelling, omnivorous animals that live in groups. Hooded Capuchins occur all over Brazil except for the extreme south , in the three Guayanas , in Venezuela south of the Orinoco , in Colombia , Ecuador , Peru and Bolivia east of the Andes and in Paraguay east of the Río Paraguay .


Hooded capuchins are medium-sized primates weighing around 2 to 3 kg for the females and 3 to 4 kg for the males. The trunk is slim, the front and rear limbs are approximately the same length. The fingers are short and the thumb is opposable , which makes these primates very skilled at hand. The tail can be grasped, but is not a fully developed grasping tail with a hairless skin area, as occurs in the spotted monkeys. The color of the fur is variable, mostly the trunk is kept in brown or black tones.

Sapajus skull front view.JPGSkull of Sapajus robustus with the crest typical of the genus Sapajus Cebus skull front view 2.JPGin comparison, the skull of a brown capuchin ( Cebus olivaceus ) without a crest

The hooded capuchin can be distinguished from Cebus ( uncapped capuchin ), the second genus of capuchin monkeys, by the more or less pronounced hair on the top of the head, their beards and their arms and legs, which are shorter than the unclouded capuchins become. The latter gives the hooded capuchins an overall more compact appearance. Other differences concern the skull morphology. The hooded capuchins have a crest of different sizes depending on the species , which is missing in all members of the genus Cebus . Their eye sockets are smaller and narrower, their aperture piriformis (the opening of the facial skull to the nasal cavity) is higher than wide (in Cebus just as high as wide). The zygomatic arch is strong in the hooded Capuchins and graceful in the unhealed Capuchins. The canine teeth of the hooded capuchin are short and robust, while those of the uncut capuchin are longer and thinner.

Where hooded and not hooded capuchins live together, this is particularly the case in the Amazon basin, the former form smaller groups and live higher up in the trees. The use of tools is omnipresent in the hooded Capuchins, which occur in drier habitats, but has never been observed in their congeners in rainforests. However, this could also be due to the lack of stones in the tropical rainforest. The use of tools has not yet been observed in unheated Capuchins.

Distribution of the eight species of the genus Sapajus : violet: S. apella , red: S. cay ; blue: S. flavius ; pink: S. libidinosus ; orange: S. macrocephalus ; green: S. nigritus ; yellow: S. robustus ; brown: S. xanthosternos


The genus of the hooded capuchin is currently (January 2015) divided into eight species.

Of these eight species, however, only three can be clearly distinguished from each other and from the other hooded capuchins, the black capuchin ( S. nigritus ), crested capuchin ( S. robustus ) and yellow-breasted capuchin ( S. xanthosternos ) species that occur in southeastern Brazil . The others together form a single, widely branched clade that occurs in the Brazilian forest savannas and the Amazon region. Within this calde there is an eastern clade consisting of populations of the dorsal capuchin ( S. libidinosus ) and the hooded capuchin ( S. apella ), a southern clade consisting of populations of the large-headed capuchin ( S. macrocephalus ), the hooded capuchin Capuchin and Azara Capuchin ( S. cay ) and a northern clade of large-headed capuchin and hooded capuchin.

Systematics and evolution

The name Sapajus was first used in 1792 by the Scottish doctor and zoologist Robert Kerr to assign the hooded capuchin ( Sapajus apella ) as a subgenus of the genus Simia ( Simia Sapajus capucinus albulus ). Simia was one of the four genera into which Carl von Linné , the founder of the classification system , divided the primates in his work Systema Naturae .

The last common ancestor of all capuchin monkeys probably lived in the late Miocene , about 6.2 million years ago. The hooded capuchins likely developed in the Atlantic rainforests on the east coast of Brazil and spread from there towards the caatinga and cerrado and the Amazon basin.


  • Lynch Alfaro, JW; Silva, JS & Rylands, AB (2012). How Different Are Robust and Gracile Capuchin Monkeys? An Argument for the Use of Sapajus and Cebus. American Journal of Primatology, Volume 74, Issue 4, pages 273-286, April 2012, doi: 10.1002 / ajp.22007

supporting documents

  1. Sapajus Kerr, 1792 at ITIS
  2. ^ Russell A. Mittermeier , Anthony B. Rylands & Don E. Wilson : Handbook of the Mammals of the World: Primates: 3. Pages 398-404, ISBN 978-84-96553-89-7
  3. Marcela GM Lima, José de Sousa e Silva-Júnior, David Černý, Janet C. Buckner, Alexandre Aleixo, Jonathan Chang, Jimmy Zheng, Michael E. Alfaro, Amely Martins, Anthony Di Fiore: A phylogenomic perspective on the robust capuchin monkey (Sapajus) radiation: first evidence for extensive population admixture across South America. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, March 2018, doi: 10.1016 / j.ympev.2018.02.023 , Link
  4. ^ Antonio Marcio Gomes Martins-Junior, Jeferson Carneiro, Iracilda Sampaio, Stephen F. Ferrari and others. Horacio Schneider: Phylogenetic relationships among Capuchin (Cebidae, Platyrrhini) lineages: An old event of sympatry explains the current distribution of Cebus and Sapajus. Genet. Mol. Biol. Vol. 41 no.3 Ribeirão Preto July / Sept. 2018, doi: 10.1590 / 1678-4685-gmb-2017-0012
  5. ^ Kerr R. 1792. The animal kingdom, a zoological system of the celebrated Sir Charles Linnaeus, Edinburgh. Xii + 644pp.