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Common squirrel monkey

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Common squirrel monkey

Common squirrel monkey

Identity card

Common squirrel monkey

Scientific name:
Saimiri sciureus
Year of description:
Linnaeus, 1758
IUCN Status:
Least Concern

Not evaluated


North-western Central America, including the southern part of the island of Costa Rica, and across the Amazon basin east of the Andes from Colombia to Brazil.


It lives from sea level up to an altitude of 2,000 metres.


23 to 37 cm (tail length 37 to 46 cm).


Insects, fruits, molluscs and small invertebrates.


15 years.

Common squirrel monkey

It lives in colonies of up to 300 individuals and their movements are guided by the females.


It feeds on fruit and insects (grasshoppers, mantises and larvae), as well as small vertebrates such as frogs and lizards, so it spends much of its time foraging and eating. It can explore up to one and a half hectares of its environment per day.

Did you know?

Where is the animal to be found?

The common squirrel monkey is a small tree-dwelling monkey found in Central and South America. It lives in forests that are abundant with food, along riverbanks or in mangroves. It is rarely seen on the ground as it stays in trees in areas from sea level up to 2,000 m altitude.

How can it be recognised?

Its size ranges from 23 to 37 cm, and its tail is 37 to 46 cm long. Its coat is olive on its back, turning to beige on its sides.

What is distinctive about it?

In the breeding season, which is the dry season, the males become fatter in order to impress the females and their rivals. After a gestation period of about 5 months, the new-born baby will be carried by its mother. It will continue to cling onto its mother's back for almost a year, even to sleep. Sexual maturity is reached at around 3 years old.

Common squirrel monkey

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