Aotus: The owl monkey


The editors of Aotus: The Owl Monkey may have attempted the imposs ib le : to compi le a book tha t appea l s to two d i s p a r a t e audiences--primatologists interested in the evolution, ecology, and behavior of free-living primates and biomedical researchers using Aotus as a disease model system. They achieve their goal with mixed success and have produced a volume in which the former group will probably read only the first chapters and the latter will focus on the later chapters. The editors of the volume come from the biomedical camp yet show excellent judgment in soliciting fine chapters from primatologists Susan M. Ford on taxonomy and distribution of owl monkeys and Patricia Wright on behavior and ecology. Some obvious contributors are conspicuously absent, including Philip Hershkovitz and Nancy Ma, though this is unlikely due to oversight by the editors. Primatologists can also easily glean interesting information from chapters by Aquino and Encarnacion on wild population densities and Dixson's chapter on reproductive biology of captive owl monkeys. Much more effort was required for me to uncover useful information from the other chapters. The opening chapter by Ford provides a thorough review of the systematics of Aotus, which is a mess. Traditionally classified as a single wide-ranging species, Aotus trivergatus, morphological and karyotypic evidence casts doubt on the monospecific status of the genus. In particular, the chromosomal diversity of Aotus is remarkable, with at least 12 distinct karyotypes, having 2N numbers ranging f rom 46 to 58. Ford uses Herskovitz's revision, which classifies Aotus into nine valid species, as the framework of this chapter, establishing it as a null hypothesis to be tested. Using multivariate analysis of existing cranial and dental measurements and adding new data on qualitative scoring of pelage coloration, her analysis

DOI: 10.1007/BF02735728

Cite this paper

@article{Ashley2007AotusTO, title={Aotus: The owl monkey}, author={Mary V. Ashley}, journal={International Journal of Primatology}, year={2007}, volume={16}, pages={883-885} }