Know Your Primate: Pithecia pithecia

Order: Primates
Suborder: Haplorrhini
Infraorder: Platyrrhini
Family: Pitheciidae
Subfamily: Pitheciinae
Genus: Pithecia
Species: Pithecia pithecia
Common: White-Faced Saki
The genus Saki contains five species. This post is about the white-faced saki, which readers may have seen pictures of in my recent posts about the St. Louis Zoo. The white-faced saki resides in the Guianas and northern Brazil.


The males have a distinctive white face:
Saki%205.jpg
While the females do not:
Saki%204.jpg
They are diurnal and live on fruits, berries, honey, leaves, flowers, small mammals, bats and birds. They, generally, skin the bats and birds before eating them. They have several other interesting features. Their incisors are procumbent and males have glandular areas on their throats of unknown function. They are highly arboreal and move primarily by quadrupedalism. They are also spectacular leapers and can jump up to thirty feet. They are also frequently seen running bipedally along branches – usually with their arms held above their heads.
Saki%203.jpg
They seem to be monogamous and live in small family groups, although larger groupings have been reported.

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