Platyrrhine color signals: New horizons to pursue

Laís A.A. Moreira, Gwen Duytschaever, James P. Higham, Amanda D. Melin

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Like catarrhines, some platyrrhines show exposed and reddish skin, raising the possibility that reddish signals have evolved convergently. This variation in skin exposure and color combined with sex-linked polymorphic color vision in platyrrhines presents a unique, and yet underexplored, opportunity to investigate the relative importance of chromatic versus achromatic signals, the influence of color perception on signal evolution, and to understand primate communication broadly. By coding the facial skin exposure and color of 96 platyrrhines, 28 catarrhines, 7 strepsirrhines, 1 tarsiiform, and 13 nonprimates, and by simulating the ancestral character states for these traits, we provide the first analysis of the distribution and evolution of facial skin exposure and color in platyrrhini. We highlight ways in which studying the presence and use of color signals by platyrrhines and other primates will enhance our understanding of the evolution of color signals, and the forces shaping color vision.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)236-248
    Number of pages13
    JournalEvolutionary anthropology
    Issue number5
    StatePublished - Sep 1 2019


    • New World monkeys
    • chroma
    • color vision
    • communication
    • luminance
    • skin

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Anthropology


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