C. capucinus are polygamous, meaning one individual can mate with multiple other individuals. Often times, the Alpha Male of a group of White-Faced Capuchins had a vast advantage over other males in a group with how much offspring they produced (Muniz et al. 2010). In fact, alpha males on average tend to be the father of from fifty to eighty percent of the offspring within a group (Muniz et al. 2006). The females tend to give birth to offspring once about every two years with seasonal breeding taking place generally sometime between January and April. Females provide the care for the young by holding, protecting and feeding them until mature, while males – especially alpha males – provide protection for the group members. Males become fully developed sexually between the ages of seven and ten while females become sexually mature at age four; however, females often wait around three years after this before they have offspring of their own (Encyclopedia of Life 2011).

          The C. capucinus, however, often engages in sexual activity without the purpose of conception, or outside of the peak of seasonal breeding. This behavior is not typical of other species of monkeys and is thought to be contributed to the fact that females show no physical changes when they are fertile, or capable of conception (Muniz et al. 2010). Before, and sometimes after, sexual activity, both the male and female participate in a courtship dance. This dance includes protruding their lips into a “duckface” and chasing each other. The dance ends with either the female presenting herself to the male or the male grabbing the female in which she can either scream in disagreement or accept (Manson et al. 1997).


          In situations where an alpha male fathers large amounts of young he usually only sticks around for about seven years. This is a practice called dispersal; the male leaves in order to avoid having sexual relations with his daughter. Such mating could result in death of the offspring due to complications because of inbreeding. If an alpha does stay longer, both the daughter and the father avoided sexual relations in order to engage in more efficient reproduction (Muniz et al 2006).



                                                                                                                       Photo Courtesy Roy Toft ©  

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