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Cebidae [2][3]
Temporal range: Late Oligocene[1] to present
White-headed capuchin (Cebus capucinus)
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Primates
Suborder: Haplorhini
Infraorder: Simiiformes
Parvorder: Platyrrhini
Family: Cebidae
Bonaparte, 1831
Type genus
Erxleben, 1777

The Cebidae are one of the five families of New World monkeys now recognised. Extant members are the capuchin and squirrel monkeys.[3] These species are found throughout tropical and subtropical South and Central America.


Cebid monkeys are arboreal animals that only rarely travel on the ground. They are generally small monkeys, ranging in size up to that of the brown capuchin, with a body length of 33 to 56 cm, and a weight of 2.5 to 3.9 kilograms. They are somewhat variable in form and coloration, but all have the wide, flat, noses typical of New World monkeys.

They are omnivorous, mostly eating fruit and insects, although the proportions of these foods vary greatly between species. They have the dental formula:

Females give birth to one or two young after a gestation period of between 130 and 170 days, depending on species. They are social animals, living in groups of between five and forty individuals, with the smaller species typically forming larger groups. They are generally diurnal in habit.[4]


Previously, New World monkeys were divided between Callitrichidae and this family. For a few recent years, marmosets, tamarins, and lion tamarins were placed as a subfamily (Callitrichinae) in Cebidae, while moving other genera from Cebidae into the families Aotidae, Pitheciidae and Atelidae.[2] The most recent classification of New World monkeys again splits the callitrichids off, leaving only the capuchins and squirrel monkeys in this family.[3]

White-fronted capuchin (Cebus albifrons)

Extinct taxa[edit]


  1. ^ Takai, M; et al. (February 2000). "New fossil materials of the earliest new world monkey, Branisella bolivians, and the problem of platyrrhine origins". American Journal of Physical Anthropology. 111 (2): 263–81. doi:10.1002/(SICI)1096-8644(200002)111:2<263::AID-AJPA10>3.0.CO;2-6. PMID 10640951.
  2. ^ a b Groves, C. P. (2005). Wilson, D. E.; Reeder, D. M. (eds.). Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 129–139. ISBN 0-801-88221-4. OCLC 62265494.
  3. ^ a b c Rylands AB, Mittermeier RA (2009). "The Diversity of the New World Primates (Platyrrhini)". In Garber PA, Estrada A, Bicca-Marques JC, Heymann EW, Strier KB (eds.). South American Primates: Comparative Perspectives in the Study of Behavior, Ecology, and Conservation. Springer. ISBN 978-0-387-78704-6.
  4. ^ Janson, C.H.; Rylands, A.B. (1984). Macdonald, D. (ed.). The Encyclopedia of Mammals. New York: Facts on File. pp. 342–361. ISBN 0-87196-871-1.