Squirrel monkey is, like its close relative, the capuchin, a New World monkey. Being one of the cleverest monkeys, this cutie is also one of the smallest members of the primate group. Did you know this monkey also has the largest brain proportionately of all primates?

squirrel monkey

Where can we find the squirrel monkey?

Found in South America, more precisely, in Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Suriname, and Venezuela, our small friend inhabits tropical forests. However, typically it will occur in the middle level of the rainforest canopy. Yet, when searching for food, this small mammal can be seen in a variety of places! But, if we talk about the perfect habitat for this monkey, wet areas with marshlands and swamps are the best places.

squirrel monkey

How does the squirrel monkey look?

Short fur colored black at the shoulders and yellowish orange on its back and extremities is this monkey’s main characteristic. Moreover, the upper parts of the head are hairy. Because of these black-and-white combinations, our friend got the name “death head monkey” in several Germanic languages. When it comes to size, the squirrel monkey can grow from 9,8 to 13,8 inches in length, while it weights from 18 to 39 oz.


Since sleeping during the night, our monkey is very active at daytime hours. Heck, it will also cooperate with the Brown capuchin, helping each other to find food, and escape predators. Being omnivorous, the monkey will eat a variety of food, including fruit, berries, flowers, nectar as well as various insects. But, did you know our brave friend will even attack and eat snakes?

Reproduction and behavior.

These monkeys are highly social creatures, forming large troops of up to 300 individuals! They sure love hanging out, right? Moreover, there are more females than males, and although there is no hierarchy, males are still noticeably more dominant than females. Not surprisingly, these monkeys are promiscuous. When the time comes, males will compete for females, and the winner mates with the majority of them. The gestation period lasts from 150 to 170 days. When the baby is born, it is cared for only by its mother.

Squirrel monkeys are definitely special, but did you know they have a unique method of scent marking? Called as urine washing, our friends will urinate on their hands and then rub it on their tail!

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