Invasive Species Compendium

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Abstract

Anatomical parameters of the body and the digestive tract of Callithrix sp. marmosets under the influence of seasonality.

Abstract

Due to the ecological importance and given the scarcity of studies on the digestive morphology of primates, anatomical aspects of the body and digestive tract, as well as food content were analysed for marmosets Callithrix sp. (hybrids of exotic species) captured in forest fragments in Minas Gerais - Brazil, during the dry and rainy seasons, considering that seasonal variations affect the availability of food and quality of diet. Data such as body weight and length, and thoracic and abdominal perimeters were analysed, and no significant difference was found between dry and rainy seasons. In relation to the digestive tract, length, weight and diameter of the oesophagus, stomach, small intestine and large intestine were measured, in addition to the isolated caecum. There was a significant difference in the diameter of the ascending colon, which was larger in the animals in the dry season than in the rainy season. The difference found may be related to diet, and through analysis of the gastric and caecal contents, it was observed that gum was the main food item for the dry season marmosets, while in the rainy season the animals consumed mainly arthropods. Thus, the characteristic observed in the digestive tract of dry season marmosets is a reflection of an adaptive response to gum intake, since this food item is of low digestibility, necessitating that the food content be retained for a long time in this segment of the large intestine, helping the process of microbial fermentation and better energy utilization for these animals.