Squirrel monkeys are one of the few New World monkey species that do not have prehensile tails. Instead, they use their hands and feet to move deftly through the middle canopy, while their tails are used mainly for balance. Often considered pests by the local people, squirrel monkeys will feed on cultivated fruit trees around their habitat.
All Together Now
Squirrel monkeys tend to live in groups of 15 to 75 individuals. Sometimes several groups join together for a period of time, creating large groups of hundreds of monkeys. Each smaller group is centered around several dominant females. Generally a female will give birth to one offspring at a time, and other females will help raise the infant (a behavior known as allomothering). Squirrel monkeys use different vocalizations to communicate with other members of their group, including an alarm call to alert the others of a nearby predator. Cooperation among squirrel monkey groups is important for their survival.
tropical rainforests of Central and South America
Squirrel monkeys are omnivorous, but prefer fruit and insects.
- Length: 10–14 inches
- Weight: 2 pounds