Common squirrel monkey

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

They like to live in large groups.

These groups consist of both male and females and can range in numbers anywhere between 25 and 500! The only time the group splits up is when they’re hunting for food.

They are ‘arboreal’ creatures. This means they spend most of their life in the trees. They very rarely go to ground level, spending most of their time in the middle to high canopy layer of the forest.

You can see our squirrel monkeys in Jungle Journeys which is next to Penguin Coast.


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

Do squirrel monkeys live very long?
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 they like to 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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