Capuchin Facts | Costa Rica Wildlife Guide
- They measure up to 22 inches in length.
- Tails are as long as the body and covered in black fur.
- Fur color varies, but it is mostly tan around the face, neck
andshoulders, with the rest of the body being dark brown.
- Hair is shorter and darker on the back than on other parts of its body.
- When full grown, they weigh only about 2 to 3 pounds.
RANGE AND HABITATCapuchins range widely up to 4,500 feet throughout northern Argentina, up through Central America to some parts of the northwest coast of North America. They are able to live in a variety of habitats, including dry
BEHAVIOR AND COMMUNICATIONAs with most New World monkeys, capuchins are diurnal. Unless they are searching for food, they are probably napping. They travel in groups with up to 35 individuals, led by both an alpha male and alpha female. Their territory may cover a large area—up to 250 acres—depending on food sources, but they are not as aggressive as other monkeys about protecting this area because they are always on the move. The group may travel up to 2 miles per day within this range, looking for food.
Young females will stay with the same group over time, while young males will venture out to find other groups or to start new groups of their own. Males will fight within their group for the role of
CAPUCHIN MONKEY DEVELOPMENT
FEEDING HABITSCapuchins are omnivores, meaning they will eat just about anything. In fact, they eat more types of food than any other monkey.
They consume flowers, seeds
White-faced capuchins are opportunistic foragers, quite active at dawn and late afternoon, when they may look under leaves and brush or tear the bark off a log in search of insects and small lizards. Capuchins might steal birds’ eggs and nestlings. Some coastal capuchins eat oysters and other mollusks, which they break open with rocks. Frugal capuchins sometimes hoard food for “rainy days.”
BREEDING AND REPRODUCTIONFemales give birth every two years on average. There is no set breeding season, although Central American births seem to be more frequent during the dry season, which is from December through April. Gestation takes about six months, and females will give birth an average of once every two years. Adult males rarely participate in caring for the young. Infants will cling to their mothers’ chests and eventually ride on their mothers’ backs.
CONSERVATIONCapuchin monkeys can easily adapt to different environments, including areas with large human populations. Nevertheless, they are not in critical danger at this point. The most challenging obstacle for them is navigating forest fragmentation, which breaks up the large tree corridors they need in order to move around and find good food sources. Their natural predators include jaguars, jaguarundis
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