Tufted Capuchin

Tufted Capuchin at Wingham Wildlife Park

Tufted Capuchin Natural History

This animal has a body length which generally does not exceed 57cm, with a tail of around the same size.  This stocky primate reaches weights of approximately 4.8kg in mature males, while females may only reach around 2kg.

Habitat and Distribution
This is a forest dwelling species, which is most commonly found in rainforests.  Its distribution covers much of Brazil and Guyana.

In captivity this species has often lived to 45 years or more.

This animal feeds on a variety of fruits, leaves, nuts, animal prey and insects, all of which are foraged for in groups, with any individual which finds food alerting the rest of the group with a high pitched whistle.  The dominant male will sit in the middle of the group where the most food is and where he is most protected from predators.

Groups and Breeding
This animal lives in groups of 2 to 20 individuals, which often only have a single mature male in its ranks.  These groups wonder throughout their range and do not have fixed territories.  After mating the females will have a gestation period of approximately 180 days with generally one baby being born (however twins are not unheard of).  This young is weaned at 9 months old, but will not reach sexual maturity itself until it is 7 years old.

This species is not listed as being under threat of extinction even though it does have many factors which may alter this level in the future.  It is hunted for both food by locals as well as for being shipped to captive environments including the pet trade or laboratories.  Finally, as with so many animals it is under constant threat from the degradation of its habitat by logging.

Interesting Facts
This animal is well known for its use of tools, in particular the use of stones to crack open hard nuts.  A nut is placed on to a large anvil rock with a groove hollowed out for it to sit in.  A smaller hard rock is then picked up by the animal and smashed down on top of the nut to open it.

The Tufted Capuchin During Your Day Out in Kent

At Wingham Wildlife Park we have 4 tufted capuchins, Yucatan, Gizmo, Widget and Gadget. Yucatan and Gizmo are Gadget’s parents and although Widgets mother is Yucatan she has a different Father. Their diet here consists of vegetables, browse, seeds, nuts, monkey biscuits, insects and eggs.