1Department of Anthropology, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, 2Department of Anatomy, Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences
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New studies have demonstrated a wide separation between tufted and untufted capuchins (genus Cebus; Erxleben, 1777) and previously unacknowledged variability within the tufted capuchins. Within this framework, we reexamine the morphological variation in the postcranium across all capuchins, exploring the effect of body size and latitude as well as behavior and taxonomy. Data on over 50 capuchin skeletons are analyzed using both multivariate and bivariate analyses, and analyzing features of both the forelimb and hindlimb, as well as data derived from museum tags on ear length, foot length, and tail length. Patterns of variation within the tufted capuchins do not fully mirror the patterns of variation across all capuchins or within the untufted species group, suggesting some differences in the adaptive stresses on tufted vs. untufted capuchins. For example, limb length varies closely with body size across tufted capuchins, but within untufted capuchins limb length varies independently of overall body size. Limited data on tail length suggest much greater variation between tufted capuchins than across untufted capuchins, indicating either biomechanical or thermoregulatory constraints. The relative significance of different foraging patterns, differing body size, and variations in quadrupedal behavior for morphological differences are discussed.