Squirrel monkeys have the largest brain size to body size ratio, implying that they are more clever than the other monkeys. They are small in size and exceptionally agile in swinging from one branch to another. Here the most amazing facts about squirrel monkeys.
Diurnal and arboreal creatures
By arboreal, we mean that they spend most of their lives on trees and diurnal means that they sleep at night like every other monkey or humans.
Smaller and smarter than most monkeys
The size of squirrel monkeys is 35 – 42 centimeters including a 10 centimeter tail. They weigh 750 – 1,100 grams. The brain mass in relation to the body mass of the squirrel monkeys is 1:17. The same ratio is 1:35 humans.
Also known as “skull monkeys”
The squirrel monkeys have been given the name, “skull monkey” in German because of their face’ resemblance to a skull. Their fur is made of short, thin hair and is black in color. Its color is olive on the shoulders and light-orange on their rear.
Their groups can have as many as 500 members
However, exceptions do exist and smaller groups on squirrel monkeys also exist.
The squirrel monkey females have a pseudo-phallus that they use to show dominance over smaller monkeys. The females are also the dominant members of the group.
Monkey squirrels mating is subject to seasonal influences. Females reach sexual maturity at the age of 3 years while males do at 5.
Their period is 150 – 170 days. The offsprings are exclusively under the care of mother. They wean when they reach 4 the age of 4 months.
Susceptible to predators
Their small size makes them susceptible to predators like large birds, snakes and cats. To protect themselves from hawks, monkey squirrels use vocal calls that are threatening for the hawks.
They have an omnivore diet
They mainly eat fruits, nuts, sprouts, insects, eggs and smaller animals.
How long do squirrel monkeys live?
Squirrel monkeys live about 15 years of age in the wild and about 20 years in captivity.
Uses tail to maintain its balance
Unlike other monkeys, the squirrel monkeys don’t use their tail to climb, but rather to maintain their balance by using it as a pole.
Where are squirrel monkeys found?
It is native to ten different countries of South America such as Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, Venezuela and Puerto Rico.
Each of these have different names depending on the place they are found. These are – Vanzolini squirrel monkey (Brazil), Bolivian squirrel monkey (Brazil), Central American squirrel monkey (Costa Rica and Panama) and, Geoffroy squirrel monkey (Brazil).