Black-Tufted Capuchin Monkey


Cebus apella

In this species males are larger and heavier than females, also possessing larger canines. Gestation for young is 5 months. One young is born, or occasionally twins. The young, which weighs only 200 to 250 grams, is carried on the back of its mother. The mother feeds the baby for 9 months, but it is sexually immature until its seventh year. Lifespan is 45 years.



Capuchin monkeys inhabit the upper canopy of the South American rainforest. They have a highly complex social structure, based on gender and age. They usually live in groups of 2 to 20 or more members. These groups consist of related females and their offspring, as well as several males. Groups are dominated by a single male, who has primary rights to mate with the females of the group. Mutual grooming, as well as vocalization, serves as communication and stabilization of group dynamics. These primates are territorial animals, distinctly marking a central area of their territory with urine and defending it against intruders, though outer areas may overlap. At night they sleep in the trees, wedged between branches. Tufted capuchins have been observed using containers to hold water, using sticks (to dig nuts, to dip for syrup, to catch ants, to reach food), using sponges to absorb juice, using stones as hammer and chisel to penetrate a barrier and using stones as hammer and anvil to crack nuts.


Capuchins are omnivorous monkeys, spending much of their time foraging for fruit and insects. Their diet includes a wide variety of fruits, seeds, frogs, bats and small vertebrates. Supplements to their diet include flowers, stems and leaves, nectar and nuts.


Least concern.