Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Brachyteles Spix, 1823

Monotypic platyrrhine genus to which the woolly spider monkey or muriqui belongs; restricted to coastal forests of southeastern Brazil. Diurnal; arboreal quadruped with prehensile tail; also brachiates. Thumb vestigial. Largest of the New World primates; slight sexual dimorphism in body size. Body mass ranges from 7.5 to 15 kg. Dental formula: 2.1.3.3. Diet principally folivorous with fruit supplements. Mixed-sex social groupings. Nonterritorial. Females have enlarged clitoris that resembles a penis. Mating is promiscuous. Males have large testicles; it has been suggested that males compete for reproductive success via sperm competition.

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