Pithecia – Sakis

They could run upright on the hind legs over the branches; such an exceptional balancing capability!

Sakis possess a robust physique characterized by well-developed leg muscles that facilitate their remarkable leaping abilities. They can easily navigate the forest canopy, making long jumps from tree to tree in search of food and escape predators. This agility is a key survival trait in the dense forests they inhabit. Sexual dimorphism is prominent in these species, with noticeable differences in size, color, and sometimes facial hair between males and females, allowing for easy identification of sexes within the species.

Sakis tend to form relatively small social groups, typically consisting of 2 to 4 individuals, often a mated pair and their offspring. This social organization contrasts with the larger groups observed in some other primate species and reflects a strategy that may reduce competition for resources. Group members are known to travel between one and two kilometers each day, with peak activity occurring in the early morning and late afternoon. A significant portion of their waking hours is dedicated to traveling and foraging, underscoring the importance of mobility in their daily survival.

Mutual grooming among males and females, including parental care and teaching by more experienced adults, plays a crucial role in social bonding and group cohesion. Such behaviors not only facilitate the removal of parasites and maintain fur health but also strengthen social ties and provide opportunities for learning and transmission of skills to younger members of the group.

Although primarily herbivorous, with a diet that can be categorized as folivorous (leaf-eating), frugivorous (fruit-eating), and granivorous (seed-eating), sakis show a particular preference for fruits, which can constitute up to 90% of their diet. This high fruit consumption underscores their role as seed dispersers within their ecosystem, contributing to forest regeneration and biodiversity. In addition to fruits, sakis also consume seeds, leaves, flowers, and occasionally insects, showcasing their adaptability and opportunistic foraging strategies.