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Capuchin monkey

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Capuchin monkey
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Scientific Classification
  • †Acrecebus
  • Cebus
  • †Killikaike[1]
Capuchin and baby.jpg
A Capuchin monkey and its baby which is clinging onto its mother's back

The Capuchin monkies are any species of monkeys belonging to the taxonomic subfamily Cabinae. The most common is the white-faced Capuchin which are most the monkeys that are most usually seen as organ monkeys. These monkeys are not only some of the most intelligent and capable of problem solving skills, but also some of the most helpful. The dangers of these monkeys must also be known though. Though these animals seem to be quite nice they are able to become quite vicious when provoked or when they are reaching sexual maturity. Most of these monkeys have not been studied extensively but are known to also be very curious of what is going on. They are very social and are mostly active in the day but have been known to be quite active at night as well.

These monkeys are very interesting creatures. They eat a wide variety of things and also carry their young around with them. Interesting as they are there is still more that is being discovered about these monkeys all the time. Their intelligence is becoming more known, and their helpfulness is being displayed to those who need it most. While we may not know everything about these intriguing creatures, this page should be of some help in learning more about them. This includes learning more about their tendencies and the overall life of the animals.

Body Design

This Capuchin seems to be angry at something.

The Capuchin monkey actually has different types. There are two groups: the smaller Capuchin, which has shorter limbs and smaller body parts, and there is the a larger size group which have a bigger skeletal build than the others. The things they both have in common are that they both have a tail, and considerably large brain hemispheres for their size. These monkeys are considered to be the most advanced, physically, among most other species of primates. Tails, are a great help for their methods of climbing. Their tails are completely covered with hair in comparison with its other relatives, but it lacks the ability to use its tail to grab objects besides branches. These monkeys use their tails to wrap around branches instead. These primates have five fingers on each hand, including their opposable thumbs, and well-developed toes with flat nails. [2]

Most of the Capuchin monkeys have a beard like patch of hair that is short and thick on their faces. The fur of the Capuchin can be a few different colors depending on species. The most common colors though are black and white, and brown. The tufted Capuchin is known also as the brown Capuchin, but they have have a variety of colors that this name is often a misnomer because it isn't always accurate. One single wave in their hair on their heads gives them a much different appearance than its other counterparts. The hair makes them easily distinguishable from other species. [3]

Life Cycle

The life span of Capuchin monkeys in the wild compared to in a zoo are very different. They live in the wild only fifteen to twenty years, compared to in captivity where they can live forty to forty-five years. At the beginning of the Capuchin monkeys life they cling to their mothers back for the first two to three weeks. These two to three weeks are the only time when the monkey supports its whole body weight with just its tail. Capuchin monkeys reach sexual maturity at four and a half years for females, and seven years for males. They have a gestation period of about two months. Their main predators are jaguars and birds of prey. [4]

Capuchin monkeys travel in groups, usually consisting of three to thirty members. There are usually two adult males, two sub-adult males, four to five baby Capuchins, four to eight adult females, and five to nine juveniles in a group. Some of these groups can travel very long distances reaching almost four kilometers. The groups of Capuchins are very territorial. The males will get their urine on their hands and use that to mark their territory. The males primarily protect their territory. The male monkeys make lots of noise to attract the attention of the predators and distracts them while he barks in order to warn and protect the other members of the group. [5]


The habitat range map of Capuchin monkeys.

The Brown Capuchin, or Tufted Capuchin, is known to live in primary and secondary rainforests. The Brown Capuchins are also known to live in the dry lowlands. Other species of Capuchins have been known to live mostly in northern South America as well as Central America. Some species of Capuchins have been found as far up into Central America as Honduras. Capuchins are omnivores, so they eat a variety of food. Their diet consists mostly of wild fruit. In the wild they have also been found to eat seeds, nectar, bats, birds, and even reptiles. [6]

The Capuchin monkeys have been observed using tools to obtain food, and also using a rock to break open a food source. This displays their unique ability of problem solving skills. These monkeys also may walk on their two hind legs while carrying food or other objects for a short distance. Capuchin monkeys are usually quite social with other monkeys in their habitat. Squirrel monkeys are most commonly found with Capuchins. The Capuchins seem to like them because of the loud warnings they give off when there is trouble. The Capuchins can be found in groups of 8-14 members usually, with an equal ratio of male to female members.

Capuchin Behavior Tendencies

Capuchin monkeys have a variety of behaviors. Aside from being very intelligent they may also be very aggressive but they can also be extremely helpful. The intelligent side of these creatures allows them to do some tasks. For example, they are able to open water bottles, use a TV remote, and even load DVDs. [7] They can also be very helpful to some people who are disabled. These monkeys are able to help people do tasks that they wouldn't be able to do on their own without the assistance of a nurse. There helpful monkeys replace nurses with little friends which can be played with and also build a relationship with. On the other hand, some people enjoy these monkeys as pets and have been sold commonly to people who like exotic pets that are interesting and have great value. Sadly, most of these pets die due to lack of care.

The aggressive side of these animals can cause serious injuries. Aggression is usually cause when they reach sexual maturity. This causes them to be very edgy and they may turn on their owners or others very quickly. The sharp canines of these seemingly harmless, sweet monkeys, may lead some people to think differently about keeping these animals as pets. In some occasions the Capuchin monkey has been known to leave people with deep gashes and large bruises. Hepatitis and rabies are two diseases that Capuchins may pass on to humans. These are the two most common that have been reported to be spread. The owners must also be careful though because of the Capuchins weak immune system that they are affected by some ailments that humans find insignificant or not very harmful. [8]


This is a video of two Capuchin monkeys that appear to be fighting over something and one of them gets a little mad....


  1. Cebinae Wikispecies. Web. Accessed March 28. 2013.
  2. The Capuchin monkey (Cebidae) [ The Capuchin monkey (Cebidae)]. Whatafy. Web. February 10, 2013 (Date-Accessed) Author Unknown
  3. MONKEY MARVELS-2 THE CAPUCHINS. HubPages. Web. December 4, 2012. (Date last updated). Author unknown.
  4. Goldman, Sam. All About The: Capuchin Monkey Prezi. Web. February 27, 2013 (Date Accessed)
  5. Capuchin Monkeys Animal Port. Web. February 27, 2013 (Date Accessed) Author Unknown
  6. Mostert, Lara. Web. February 13,2013. (Date Accessed)
  7. Manning, Sue. Pet capuchin monkeys can turn on their owners, experts warn USA TODAY. Web. April 30, 2010 (Date Posted).
  8. Kruzer, Adrienne. The Capuchin Monkey Web. February 27, 2013. (Date Accessed).