What Is A Capuchin Monkey What Does It Look Like?


The Capuchin monkey is considered to be a New World monkey; they are fairly small compared to many of the world’s other species of monkeys; however they are the cutest monkeys also. The capuchin monkeys have brown or black arms, legs, body and even tail; they may be dark but their chests, throats and their faces are white depending on species.  The heads are black also.

These capuchin monkeys can grow to around 12 inches; this is for most females however, males mostly reach 22 inches. The size can vary but usually the capuchin monkeys are not going to grow more than 22 inches. Though, the tails of the capuchin monkeys can grow to be the same length as the body also. The capuchin monkeys can be very light also because they weigh up to around 2 or 3 pounds which is very light for anyone, especially a monkey.

However, the capuchin monkey’s brain can weigh around 35 grams; and the capuchin monkeys have been and still are considered to be the world’s most intelligent monkeys. There are however several distinct types of other species of capuchin monkeys; two of them are the Crested capuchin and the yellow breasted capuchin.

The crested capuchin has a conical crest on the head. The crest will be dark and the fur which will be black goes all around the edge of the face; this can help to create a beard like feature underneath the capuchin’s chin.  Most of the body is black such as the lower parts of the tail, arms and legs while the rest of the body is auburn.

The yellow breasted capuchin is a very small monkey; it will have dark fur but it has also a yellow-golden red belly, chest and upper arms also. The temple and face of the yellow breasted capuchin is fawn but the rest of the face is black. The males will be a little bigger than the females also.

capuchin monkey facts and information

Capuchin monkey – Family Cebidae

Where Do The Capuchin Monkeys Live?

Capuchin monkeys can live across central and south America.  These can include;

  • Paraguay
  • Brazil
  • East Peru
  • Honduras

They can survive on most of these areas and are comfortable living here also.

These Capuchin monkeys do at times have a fairly good relation with the human species.  There are some across the world who will keep these monkeys as pets, exotic pets however, these Capuchin monkeys are not really supposed to be kept as pets.

However, the capuchins can be often seen near human crops and fields; and usually they are foraging the fields and crops for food sources.  Humans do not like this but actually, this is all down to the monkey’s habitat being destroyed over time.  Though, there are less monkeys being seen near human population due to their homes being destroyed.

Some humans believe that the capuchin monkey, are a service animal. There are some organizations around the world that have actually trained these little monkeys to help those in need.  Quadriplegic sufferers have been assisted by these monkeys; they have been at times described as an alternative to seeing eye-dogs and mobility assistance dogs also.

The Behavior of Capuchin Monkeys

Capuchins are New World monkeys and as a result, they are arboreal and diurnal animals.  They spend most of their days searching for food but they do take in a short midday nap.  During the night, they will sleep amongst the trees, usually wedged tightly between branches.

The capuchin monkeys have to be very careful to avoid predators such as jaguars, coyotes, snakes, crocodiles and many more.  They have to be very careful when it comes to being near the rivers as well as on the ground when they are foraging.

Capuchin monkeys can live in small or large groups of a dozen to almost forty monkeys.  They are well social animals and can survive in both smaller groups and larger groups.

Capuchin Monkey information

Capuchin Monkey, a New World monkey

The Feeding Habits of a Capuchin Monkey

The capuchin monkeys have a very varied diet.  They do not eat what most Cebidae monkeys eat because they are solely omnivores.  They will have a varied diet because they will consume things such as bird eggs, insects and spiders; and they will eat nuts, buds, seeds and fruits.

However, capuchin monkeys live near water and like to live near water so that they can eat shell fish and crabs. They can crack the shells with stones they find near the beaches though they do tend to also eat vertebrates – small ones.

Strangely, the capuchin monkeys usually eat the foods which are hard to find and the foods which are only around for a shorter periods of time. However, they can find food sources anywhere they search.

How Does the Reproduction Cycle Work With Capuchin Monkeys?

Female Capuchins only bear young every two years; this happens after they have a gestation period of 160-180 days. However, the males rarely take any part of caring or rearing the young as most females take this responsibility on more.

The young capuchins will huge onto their mother when they are very young. They will hang onto her chest for a good few years but when they get older or larger, they will hold onto the back instead. Though, the capuchins don’t mature quickly; it can take four years for female capuchins to mature fully and almost eight years for the males. This is an extraordinary amount of time but until those ages, the capuchins are considered to be young or juveniles.

Most of the capuchins in the wild life will find they live only around 15-25 years; whereas in captivity, the life expectancy can be almost 40 years, maybe even longer. Life expectancy might be better for those in captivity than in the wild life but being in the wild life is better because that is their natural habitat.


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