These primates are native to tropical forests in Central and South America. They spend most of their time in the canopy, and rarely come down to the forest floor.
Nimble fingers and a natural curiosity allow these monkeys to forage for a wide range of plants and insects for food.
Squirrel monkeys are highly social creatures, forming large troops of up to 300 individuals, although most contain only 40 - 50 animals. Each such troop generally consists of females, although multiple males are always present. Their communication system includes a wide variety of calls.
A single infant is born after around 150 - 170 days of gestation. The newborn baby is cared for by its mother. It travels on the back of its mother for the first 5 - 10 weeks after birth, at which point the infant starts to occasionally leave its mother, exploring the surroundings. Independence is reached at 10 months old.
Habitat destruction is decreasing the natural habitat of these monkeys, however they are common throughout their natural range. They are captured for the pet trade and sometimes for medical research.
- Latin Name: Saimiri sciureus
- Class: Mammals
- Order: Primates
- Family: Cebidae
- Conservation Status: Least Concern
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