Common squirrel monkey

Found in both the tropical rain and dry forests of South America you’ll go (monkey) nuts over these guys!

Squirrel monkey facts

  • A squirrel monkey tail is not prehensile, that means they cannot use it to grab onto things. They use it for balance, nothing more.
  • Like humans, squirrel monkeys are diurnal. This means they sleep at night and are most active during the day.
  • Squirrel monkeys are considered to be one of the cleverest monkeys due to having a large brain compared to the size of their body.
  • They are highly vocal and have around 25-30 different types of call.


They are listed as least concern on the IUCN Red List, however it is common knowledge that their natural habitat has been greatly affected by deforestation. Plus, this characterful little creature is highly prized in the exotic pet trade. Because of this they’re part of a breeding programme.

Common squirrel monkey questions and answers

How long do squirrel monekys live?
They can live up to 25 years.

Did I just see a squirrel monkey wee on its hands?
Erm, yes you did! It’s actually a way of marking territory. It also helps control their body temperature, plus it forms part of their self-cleaning ritual…mmm, mmm!

What do squirrel monkeys eat?
Well, they are omnivorous so that means they eat food items that are both plant and animal based. These range from flowers, leaves and nuts to insects, lizards and even eggs.

Do they have many predators?
A few, mainly snakes, birds of prey and wildcats.

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