Feeding ecology and diet

The three pitheciin genera, and to a lesser extent Callicebus, are specialized seed predators. Pithecia, Chiropotes, and Cacajao all include a large percentage of fruit in their diets, and the majority of these fruit are exploited for the seeds they contain. Most species prefer young seeds from unripe fruit. The

A golden-faced saki (Pithecia pithecia chrysocephala). (Photo by Claus Meyer/Minden Pictures. Reproduced by permission.)
A bearded saki (Chiropotes satanas) eats a small piece of fruit. (Photo by John Giustina. Bruce Coleman, Inc. Reproduced by permission.)

fruits these primates include in their diets are primarily large, hard, indehiscent fruits with one or a few large seeds, such as the Brazil nut family (Lecythidaceae). Pithecia supplements its diet with leaves, flowers, and invertebates, as does Cacajao. Chiropotes eats fewer leaves, but will eat some invertebrates. Callicebus species eat more fruit pulp and fewer seeds than other pitheciids. Some species supplement their diet with insects while others eat leaves.

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