Thursday, April 11, 2013

Squirrel Monkey

The squirrel monkey (Saimiri sciureus) is a species of New World monkey found in South America.  It is a lesser primate.

Physical Features
The squirrel monkey is very small, growing about 12 inches to 15 inches (29 cm to 38 cm) excluding the tail ( about 42 cm).  It weighs about 550 g to 1300 g.  They have golden or orange hands and olive green fur.  Their face is white colour while their muzzle is black.  Squirrel monkeys have white ears and throats while their mouth is black.

Distribution and Habitat
The squirrel monkey lives in the tropical forests of South America.  They sometimes live on elevations of 6500 feet (2000 m).

Squirrel monkeys are diunrnal, they are active during mornings.  They are not solitary; they travel in groups of about 30 to 40 individuals.  Squirrel monkeys make chirping, squeaking or purring noises.

Life Cycle and Diet
Squirrel monkeys reproduce about 1 young every year after a 170 day gestation period.  A squirrel monkey may live for 30 years in captivity.  Females mature at the age of 3 years while males mature at the age of 5 years.  They mainly feed on fruits, nuts and insects.  

Squirrel monkeys are very abundant and are found in large numbers.  They were previously threatened by pet trade but are now protected.  They may be threatened by habitat destruction in the near future.

This pic was taken by my sister.

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