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Anecdotic observations of homosexual behaviour among male capuchin monkeys (Sapajus sp.)

In: Behaviour
Authors:
Henrique P. Rufo Instituto de Psicologia, Universidade de São Paulo, Avenida Professor Mello de Morais, 1721 Butantã, São Paulo, SP 05508-0, Brazil

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Eduardo B. Ottoni Instituto de Psicologia, Universidade de São Paulo, Avenida Professor Mello de Morais, 1721 Butantã, São Paulo, SP 05508-0, Brazil

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Abstract

Many species were reported engaging in homosexual behaviour among mammals, birds, reptiles and insects. In primates, this behaviour seems to be much more frequent among apes and Old World monkeys than in New World monkeys, where only a few species, like squirrel monkeys, tamarins, marmosets, and capuchins, have been observed engaging in same-sex mounts. In capuchin monkeys, homosexual mounting has been rarely reported, with a few observations in Cebus capucinus and captive Sapajus groups. However, homosexual behaviour between males of the genus Sapajus has never before been reported outside captivity. Our observations are the first made with a semi free-ranging group living in the Tiete Ecological Park (São Paulo, SP, Brazil), during an experimental study. Four events of male-male mounts were observed, involving six individuals — two juveniles and four adults, which do not seem related to hierarchical or age group factors, but could be related to getting access to our experimental apparatus.

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