specialized niches in their natural environment. Moreover, their ecology and behavior are quite divergent from those of Old World monkeys, in line with the differences in habitat types and predator and competitor complements. The net result of their history of adaptive radiation in a particular setting is that virtually all aspects of captive management of these species should be tailored to the individual species to accommodate the variations among them in size, diet, social organization, reproductive cycles, locomotor patterns, and activity levels. In the remainder of this chapter, general points are presented where possible, and specific recommendations relevant to husbandry and well-being for particular genera that differ from these general points are noted.


The vertical dimension appears to be more important for these nonhuman primates' use of space than the horizontal dimension. Housing should provide adequate vertical space and postural supports to enable all animals to move and perch with their tail hanging in a normal position of rest without touching the floor. Perches with multiple heights within the enclosure are desirable. Space should permit jumping laterally and vertically. Climbing structures, swings, and other flexible supports are used by animals of all ages in some species but especially by youngsters. The ground or floor is used by some species if low perches or objects on the floor make vertical movement easy and if the floor is a "soft" material (such as a covering of straw or wood chips). Bedding material supports species-normal exploratory activity in capuchins and other manipulative species; supports foraging activities if small food items, such as sunflower seeds, are scattered; and reduces the likelihood of injury or hypothermia in infants that fall to the floor. Cage furnishings should also permit the use of the tail and suspensory postures in genera with prehensile tails, e.g., spider monkeys.

Large cebids do well at normal to high temperatures of 21–29°C (70–84°F); however, smaller cebids such as squirrel monkeys seem to do better at temperatures in the higher end of this range (e.g., 26–29°C, or 78–84°F). If outdoor housing is used, warming areas are needed for most species if the ambient temperature falls below 10–15°C (50–59°F). It should not be assumed that animals will spontaneously seek out the sheltered areas when the temperature falls. Titi monkeys, for example, will remain in a preferred outside sitting spot, and spider monkeys will sunbathe even when temperatures are dangerously low. Animals might need to be confined in heated quarters under such conditions.

Cebids eat small amounts of food over long periods of each day. They often nibble a bit of food and then drop it, perhaps to retrieve it again later. Food presented in a pan is usually removed by the animals as soon as it is delivered. In enclosures with raised mesh floors, food often drops below the mesh floor, and special efforts are required to ensure that food is available ad libitum.

The owl monkey (aotus) should be provided with a nest box. A reversed

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