Common marmosets live in stable extended families, with only a few members allowed to breed. A marmoset group can contain as many as 15 members, but a more typical number is nine. A marmoset family usually contains one or two breeding females, a breeding male, their offspring, and their adult relatives, be they their parents or siblings. The females in a group tend to be closely related, and males less so. Males do not mate with breeding females to which they are related. Marmosets may leave their natal groups when they become adults, in contrast to other primate species. which leave at adolescence. Not much is known of the reasons marmosets leave their natal groups. Family groups fuse into new groups when a breeding male dies. Within the family groups, the breeding individuals tend to be more dominant. The breeding male and female tend to share dominance. Between two breeding females, though, one is more dominant. In addition, the subordinate female is usually the daughter of the dominant one. For the other members, social rank is based on age. Dominance is maintained though various behaviors, postures, and vocalizations, and subordinates groom their superiors.
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