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Comp Med. 2001 Jun;51(3):218-23.

Relations among measures of body composition, age, and sex in the common marmoset monkey (Callithrix jacchus).

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  • 1Department of Physiological Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville 32610-0144, USA.


Few studies of body composition have been done in New World primates. In the study reported here, four methods of assessing body composition (body weight, anthropometry, labeled-water dilution, and total body electroconductivity) were compared in 20 marmosets, aged 0.96 to 7.97 years. Males and females did not differ in any measure (P > 0.05). Body weight ranged from 272 to 466 g, and body fat estimates varied from 1.6 to 19.5%. Strong positive correlations were observed between total body water and total body electroconductivity (R2 = 0.77), body weight and fat-free mass (males R2 = 0.95; females R2 = 0.91), and body weight and fat mass (males R2 = 0.86; females R2 = 0.85; P < 0.01). Male and female slopes were equivalent (P > 0.05) for the regressions of fat and fat-free mass against body weight. Positive correlations also were observed between girth measures and fat-free mass (R2 = 0.48 to 0.78) and fat mass (R2 = 0.60 to 0.74; P < 0.01). A good second- order polynomial relationship was observed between age and fat-free mass for the combined sample (R2 = 0.64). Results indicated that: subjects were lean; there was no sexual dimorphism relative to measures; body weight provided a reliable estimate of fat and fat-free mass; and within-subject body weight changes reflected a similar relationship between body weight and fat-free mass as did that across subjects.

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