There are five different species of squirrel monkey in Central and South America. We have a troop of common squirrel monkeys here at the Zoo.
Squirrel monkeys are very sociable animals. In the wild, they tend to live in groups of 10-30 but numbers can reach up to 500 individuals.
Squirrel monkeys are omnivores.
Our squirrel monkeys primarily eat fruits and insects. Occasionally they also eat seeds, leaves, flowers, buds, nuts, eggs and small vertebrates.
In the wild, squirrel monkeys live in the forest and tropical jungles of Central and South America.
They are active during the day, spending most of their time in the middle level of the forest, moving from tree to tree looking for the fruits, flowers and insects that make up their diet. They are excellent climbers and leapers and can travel long distances through the forest running along and leaping between branches. Only occasionally do they come down to the ground.
Squirrel monkeys carefully smear food on their tails using their hands. Smelly tails are important to help identify close friends and family in the tangle of the forest.
Squirrel monkeys are not threatened in the wild and we will work hard to ensure it stays this way.
Living in such large social groups makes squirrel very confident, they are very curious and naughty, and they work together as a team to solve problems.
Females are dominant but during breeding season the males bulk up considerably to try and impress them.
You can find our squirrel monkeys on their own monkey island, opposite the rainbow lorikeets
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