Physiological and parasitological implications of living in a city: the case of the white-footed tamarin (Saguinus leucopus)

American Journal of Primatology
Iván Darío Soto-CalderónGisela María García-Montoya


Among primates, the Neotropical Callitrichid monkeys (tamarins and marmosets) exhibit a particular ability to adapt to disturbed and urbanized environments. However, little is known about physiological and health status in contrasting ecological contexts. An example of adaptation to urban environments is the white-footed tamarin (Saguinus leucopus), an endangered species endemic to the central Andes in North West Colombia. This species was used as a model to contrast physical condition, physiological parameters and the parasite community of wild populations in rural and urban settings. Overall, the tamarins seemed to be in good body condition in both environments; however, urban tamarins exhibited overweight, elevated body mass, and higher cholesterol levels, while rural tamarins showed larger diversity and prevalence of parasites. Variation in several hematological parameters associated with altitude was also observed. Our data provide preliminary evidence of differential physiological responses to urban and rural environments in tamarins. These results may be attributed to nutritional factors, physical activity, and specific parasite-host ecological interactions in these two environments. Also, abundance and diversity of the ...Continue Reading


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