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Biology

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Muriquis are arboreal and active during the day (7). They live in multimale-multifemale groups (5) that may number between 8 and 80 individuals (2). Groups are not territorial; there is little aggression between members and related males often cooperate with each other (5). Social grooming between group members appears to be rare but embracing is thought to help maintain bonds (2) (5). Females tend to give birth to a single offspring in the dry season that runs between May and September (7). Males remain with their natal group, while female offspring disperse to join other groups once they have reached adolescence at 5 – 7 years old (7). Young leaves and fruit constitute a large component of the muriqui diet; individuals often feed by hanging from the branches of a tree with their prehensile tail (2) (5). Seeds, bark, flowers and some insects are also eaten during the more abundant rainy season (7).
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Conservation

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The muriqui has been a flagship species for the conservation of Brazil's fragile Atlantic Forest region (8). However, information on these critically endangered primates is still lacking and data on population distribution and status is urgently required. Programme Muriqui has been undertaking research on populations within the Serra dos Organos National Park; the possibility of reintroductions is being investigated and an ongoing education programme has been established (9).
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Description

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The muriqui, or woolly spider monkey, is the largest New World primate, and in the late 1980s was recognised as two distinct species: the northern muriqui (Brachyteles hypoxanthus) and the southern muriqui (B. arachnoides) (4). The main difference between the northern and the southern muriqui is the presence of a small thumb in the northern variety (2). Otherwise, however, they are almost identical in appearance. Muriquis have long limbs and a long prehensile tail, allowing them to be particularly agile amongst the trees (5). The thick coat is greyish-brown in colour and males may have a more yellow tinge (5) (6).
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Habitat

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Inhabits subtropical, tropical and moist lowland rainforest in Brazil's Atlantic Forest Region (4), and is found at altitudes from sea level to 1,000 metres (6).
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Range

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Endemic to the Atlantic Forest Region of eastern Brazil, the northern form is found in the states of Minas Gerais, Espirito Santo, Rio de Janeiro, and, at least formerly, Bahia. The southern muriqui is found in the states of São Paulo and Parana (7).
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Status

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Classified as Critically Endangered (CR B1ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v) +2ab (i,ii,iii,iv,v)) on the IUCN Red List 2003 (1), and listed on Appendix I of CITES (3).
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Threats

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The northern muriqui was once widespread in the Atlantic Forest region, but today there are only a handful of sub-populations in nine or more protected areas, including Rio Doce State Park, Caparaó National Park, Serra do Brigadeiro State Park, and Augusto Ruschi Biological Reserve (1) (2) (4). The total known population is very low, at only 300 to 400 individuals (2), and the largest sub-population recorded has only 157 individuals, which severely limits the group's breeding potential (1). This species is threatened by habitat destruction as it occurs in one of the most populated and industrious region of Brazil (4). Vast tracts of forest have been lost, and the remaining healthy forests are fragmented and at risk of being destroyed in the future. In addition, these large primates were an important food source for people in the region and have been widely hunted (4).
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Conservation Status

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Brachyteles hypoxanthus was included on the 2012 IUCN 100 most endangered species list.

IUCN Media Statement Sept 11, 2012.The 100 most threatened species. Are they priceless or worthless?

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Northern muriqui

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The northern muriqui (Brachyteles hypoxanthus) is an endangered muriqui or woolly spider monkey species endemic to Brazil. It is unusual among primates in that it shows egalitarian social relationships.[3] It is found in the Atlantic Forest region of the Brazilian states of Rio de Janeiro, Espírito Santo, Minas Gerais and Bahia. Muriquis are the largest species of New World monkeys. The northern muriqui can grow up to 4.3 ft (1.3 m) long. It feeds mainly on leaves and twigs, but will also eat fruit. It often hangs upside-down by its prehensile tail while eating.

Identification

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Northern muriquis have natural pale facial marks.

Northern muriquis can be individually recognized by their natural markings and facial features, such as fur color and patterning, ear shape, and face shape and pigmentation.[4] Their sex can usually be determined within a week or so of birth, based on the shape and positioning of their genitalia.[5] Female muriquis are more independent than males; they leave their natal groups at an age of about six years.[6] Female muriquis engage in sex with multiple partners, which may serve to confuse paternity, limit male aggression, or improve odds of fertilization.[7] Male muriquis have almost no interaction with infants. When there is an interaction between the two, the infant would be the one to initiate it.[8]

Endangered

B. hypoxanthus is one of the world's most critically endangered primates, according to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.[2] It is threatened by hunting and (in common with most other primates of the region) destruction and fragmentation of its Atlantic Forest habitat.[2] Among the scattered populations of northern muriqui only one population, living in Caratinga is considered, as of now, viable for the next 100 years.[9] The northern muriqui also suffers from very low genetic diversity[10] and is poorly understood, causing problems in conservation.[11] The estimated wild population of northern muriquis was raised from about 500 to 1000 individuals in 2005, due to new discoveries and research in other forests.[5]

Human evolution relevance

The northern muriqui has been argued to be important to understanding human evolution, since it is one of the few primates that has tolerant, nonhierarchial relationships among and between males and females, a feature shared with hunter-gatherer humans, but which contrasts with the ranked relationships of most other primates.[3] Group aggression is also rare.[3] The success of males fathering offspring links to the maternal investment they gain from their mothers and coresident female kin. This provides support to the grandmother hypothesis.[3]

See also

References

  1. ^ Groves, C. P. (2005). "Order Primates". In Wilson, D. E.; Reeder, D. M (eds.). Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 151. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494.
  2. ^ a b c Ferraz, D. da S.; Tabacow, F.; Mittermeier, R.A.; Melo, F.; Boubli, J.; Jerusalinsky, L.; Talebi, M. (2019). "Brachyteles hypoxanthus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2019: e.T2994A17927482. Retrieved 7 March 2020.
  3. ^ a b c d Strier, K.B., Chaves, P.B., Mendes, S.L., Fagundes, V., Di Fiore, A. (2011). Low paternity skew and the influence of maternal kin in an egalitarian, patrilocal primate, PNAS, 108, 18915–18919 doi:10.1073/pnas.1116737108
  4. ^ Chaves, Paulo B.; Magnus, Tielli; Jerusalinsky, Leandro; Talebi, Maurício; Strier, Karen B.; Breves, Paula; Tabacow, Fernanda; Teixeira, Rodrigo H. F.; Moreira, Leandro; Hack, Robson O. E.; Milagres, Adriana; Pissinatti, Alcides; Melo, Fabiano R.; Pessutti, Cecília; Mendes, Sérgio L.; Margarido, Tereza C.; Fagundes, Valéria; Di Fiore, Anthony; Bonatto, Sandro L. (December 2019). "Phylogeographic evidence for two species of muriqui (genus Brachyteles )". American Journal of Primatology. 81 (12): e23066. doi:10.1002/ajp.23066. PMID 31736121. S2CID 182008678.
  5. ^ a b Strier, Karen B, Jean P. Boubli, Carla B Possamai, and Se ́ rgio L. Mendes4. "Population Demography of Northern Muriquis (Brachyteles Hypoxanthus) at the Estac ̧ a ̃ O Biolo ́ Gica De Caratinga/Reserva Particular Do Patrimoˆ Nio Natural-Felı`ciano Miguel Abdala, Minas Gerais, Brazil."AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL ANTHROPOLOGY (2006): 1-3.
  6. ^ Strier, KB, SL Mendes, and K. "Web of Knowledge [v5.6]." Genetic Diversity and Population History of a Critically Endangered Primate, the Northern Muriqui 17.2 (2011): 53-69. Web.
  7. ^ Possami, Carla. "Socio-Sexual Behavior of Female Northern Muriquis." Socio-Sexual Behavior of Female Northern Muriquis 69.7 (2007). Web.
  8. ^ Oliveria Guimaraes, Vanessa. "Adult Male-infant Interactions in Wild Muriquis (Brachyteles Arachnoides Hypoxanthus)." N.p., Oct. 2001. Web. 26 Oct. 2012.
  9. ^ Brito, Daniel, and Carlos Eduardo V. Grelle. Estimating Minimum Area of Suitable Habitat and Viable Population Size for the Northern Muriqui. Pdfcast.org. Springer, n.d. Web. 26 Oct. 2012.http://pdfcast.org/pdf/estimating-minimum-area-of-suitable-habitat-and-viable-population-size-for-the-northern-muriqui-brac#>.
  10. ^ Chaves, Paulo B.; Alvarenga, Clara S.; Possamai, Carla de B.; Dias, Luiz G.; Boubli, Jean P.; Strier, Karen B.; Mendes, Sérgio L.; Fagundes, Valéria (3 June 2011). "Genetic Diversity and Population History of a Critically Endangered Primate, the Northern Muriqui (Brachyteles hypoxanthus)". PLOS ONE. 6 (6): e20722. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0020722. PMC 3108597. PMID 21694757.
  11. ^ Daniel, Brito. "Lack of Adequate Taxonomic Knowledge May Hinder Endemic Mammal Conservation in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest." Google Scholar. N.p., 2004. Web. 26 Oct. 2012.
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Northern muriqui: Brief Summary

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The northern muriqui (Brachyteles hypoxanthus) is an endangered muriqui or woolly spider monkey species endemic to Brazil. It is unusual among primates in that it shows egalitarian social relationships. It is found in the Atlantic Forest region of the Brazilian states of Rio de Janeiro, Espírito Santo, Minas Gerais and Bahia. Muriquis are the largest species of New World monkeys. The northern muriqui can grow up to 4.3 ft (1.3 m) long. It feeds mainly on leaves and twigs, but will also eat fruit. It often hangs upside-down by its prehensile tail while eating.

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