Cross-fostering technique can be defined as adoption of infants by adults of other species. This phenomenon is poorly investigated because very young animals have few opportunities to interact peacefully with non-conspecific adults, either in captivity or in natural conditions. This study describes the induction of cross-fostering in captivity between white tufted-ear (Callithrix jacchus) and black tufted-ear marmosets (Callithrix penicillata). We conclude that this technique can be very useful for preserving the life of rejected by parents or orphan infants, mainly in the case of species with low reproduction rate in captivity or those threatened by extinction, as well for investigating the environmental effects on the typical behavior of species (courtship, food preference, vocalization patterns, e.g.).
Cross-fostering; parental behavior; infants; reproduction in captivity; marmosets