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A Production of

Callimico goeldii, Goeldi's Monkey
Dr. James Rossie - Stony Brook University
Callimico goeldii
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National Museum of Natural History (USNM 464993)

Image processing: Mr. Adam Marsh
Publication Date: 21 Nov 2002

Growth series: juvenile male | adult male


All-new movies and applet added October 2012!

Callimico goeldii, Goeldi’s monkey, is a South American or New World monkey. South American monkeys or platyrrhines comprise one of the two infraorders (Platyrrhini and Catarrhini) of anthropoid primates. They live exclusively in South and Central America, but their fossil distribution includes the Greater Antilles (MacPhee and Horovitz, 2002). The fossil record of platyrrhines extends back to the Deseadan or late Oligocene of Bolivia where they are represented by the genus Branisella (Takai and Anaya, 1996). Their presence in the New World is generally considered to be the result of a single dispersal event (Fleagle, 1999) near the end of the Eocene from the Old World, where all known basal anthropoids are found (Beard, 2002). Because South America was not connected with North America or Africa at the time, this dispersal must have involved rafting across some portion of the Atlantic.

Once in the New World, platyrrhines diverged into a variety of forms ranging in size from the smallest living anthropoid (Cebuella) at ~110 grams to the howler monkeys (Alouatta) that reach 11 kg (Fleagle, 1999). This diverse radiation of primates includes 78 living species (Fleagle, 1999) in 16 genera, one of which is the only living nocturnal anthropoid, Aotus. Their diets and locomotor adaptations are diverse, though most are at least partly frugivorous and none are primarily terrestrial.

Although the adaptations of different genera are reflected in their craniodental anatomy, platyrrhines in general retain a cranial morphology more similar to primitive anthropoids from the Eocene and Oligocene of Egypt such as Catopithecus, Parapithecus, and Aegyptopithecus than do the living Old World anthropoids (Fleagle, 1999; Simons, 2001). The research for which these CT data were collected indicates that this primitive anthropoid cranial morphology included considerable cranial pneumatization via the paranasal sinuses.

Callimico goeldii is a member of the Callitrichinae, a group of small platyrrhines that are distinctive in having claw-like bilaterally compressed finger nails. Callimico is a medium-sized callitrichine, with males and females averaging 499 g and 468 g respectively (Fleagle, 1999). It retains its third molars, which other callitrichines have lost, making it an apparent early offshoot of the subfamily (Ford, 1986; Kay, 1994; Rosenberger, 2002)), although this has been contradicted by recent molecular and combined morphological and molecular evidence (Horovitz, 1999; von Dornum and Ruvolo, 1999; but see MacPhee and Horovitz, 2002).


About the Species

This male specimen is the skull of a juvenile (M3 erupting). The posterior portion of the cranium is cut away. The specimen was made available to The University of Texas High-Resolution X-ray CT Facility for scanning by Dr. James Rossie of Stony Brook University, courtesy of the Smithsonian Institution Division of Mammals. Scanning was funded by an NSF dissertation improvement grant to Mr. Rossie (#0100825). Funding for image processing was provided by a National Science Foundation Digital Libraries Initiative grant to Dr. Timothy Rowe of The University of Texas at Austin.


lateral view


anterior view

About this Specimen

This specimen was scanned by Matthew Colbert on 9 January 2002 along the coronal axis for a total of 290 slices. Each slice is 0.145 mm thick, with an interslice spacing of 0.145 mm and a field of reconstruction of 40.0 mm.

About the

Beard, K. C. 2002. Basal anthropoids. In (W. C. Hartwig, Ed) The Primate Fossil Record, pp. 133-149. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.

Fleagle, J. G. 1999. Primate Adaptation and Evolution. San Diego, Academic Press.

Ford, S. M. 1986. Systematics of the New World monkeys. In (D. R. Swindler & J. Erwin, Eds) Comparative Primate Biology, Vol. 1: Systematics, Evolution and Anatomy, pp. 73-135. New York, Alan R. Liss, Inc.

Horovitz, I. 1999. A phylogenetic study of living and fossil platyrrhines. American Museum Novitates 3269:1-40.

Kay, R. F. 1994. "Giant" tamarin from the Miocene of Columbia. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 95:333-353.

MacPhee, R. D. E. and I. Horovitz. 2002. Extinct Quaternary platyrrhines of the Greater Antilles and Brazil. In (W. C. Hartwig, Ed) The Primate Fossil Record, pp. 189-200. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.

Rosenberger, A. L. 2002. Platyrrhine paleontology and systematics: The paradigm shifts. In (W. C. Hartwig, Ed) The Primate Fossil Record, pp. 151-159. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.

Simons, E. L. 2001. The cranium of Parapithecus grangeri, an Egyptian Oligocene anthropoidean primate. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA 98:7892-7897.

Takai, M. and F. Anaya. 1996. New specimens of the oldest fossil platyrrhine, Branisella boliviana, from Salla, Bolivia. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 99:301-317.

von Dornum, M. and M. Ruvolo. 1999. Phylogenetic relationships of the New World monkeys (Primates, Platyrrhini) based on nuclear G6PD DNA sequences. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 11:459-476.

Pictures of Callimico goeldii on Wisconsin Regional Primate Research Center

& Links

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To cite this page: Dr. James Rossie, 2002, "Callimico goeldii" (On-line), Digital Morphology. Accessed July 20, 2024 at http://digimorph.org/specimens/Callimico_goeldii/464993/.

©2002-20019 - UTCT/DigiMorph Funding by NSF