This study examines sexual dimorphism in 24 dimensions of the postcranial skeleton of four platyrrhine species: Callithrix jacchus, Saguinus nigricollis, Saimiri sciureus, and Cebus albifrons. The two callitrichid species show a relatively small amount of variation in the degree of sexual dimorphism among the different dimensions. Variation is considerably higher in the two cebid species as reflected by a mosaic pattern of sexual dimorphisms with males being significantly larger than females in some dimensions, and females significantly larger than males in others. In dimensions of the pectoral girdle and limb bones, males and females in each of the two cebid species are essentially scaled versions of each other, with males being peramorphic compared to females. This pattern is primarily the result of time hypermorphosis, i.e. an extension of the growth period in time in males. Rate hypermorphosis, i.e. an increase in the rate of growth in time in males, appears to play an additional role, however, in S. sciureus. By contrast, in dimensions of the true pelvis, sex differences in shape are dissociated from those in size. They are interpreted as the result of acceleration, i.e. increase in rate of shape change in females, as an adaptation to obstetrical functions. Interspecific analyses indicate positive allometry of mean degree of postcranial dimorphism with respect to body size. This coincides with previous findings by Leutenegger and Cheverud [1982, 1985] on the scaling of sexual dimorphism in body weight and canine size, and thus supports their model which posits selection on body size as the prime mover for the evolution of sexual dimorphism.

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