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Scientific name: Saimiri sciureus

Habitat: tropical rainforests, mangrove forests

Diet: insects, fruits; also leaves, flowers and seeds, frogs, bird eggs

Life span: 20 years

Young: 1 young/litter

Size: males 0.4–1.3 kg (1-3 lbs); females slightly smaller

Squirrel monkeys are excellent climbers and leapers. They spend most of their time in the canopy, but occasionally forage on the forest floor. Their tail is used primarily for balance. It is not prehensile (grasping).

Squirrel monkeys live in troops with complex social relationships. The babies are cared for by the mother, with help from other females in the troop. Squirrel monkeys are often used in medical research because they have the largest brain in relation to body size of any primate.

Learn more about this species:

These are some other websites that we think have more great information about this species.

Squirrel monkey on Animal Diversity Web

Squirrel monkey photo gallery


Range: tropical rainforests of South America

Status in the Wild

Status: threatened

For More Information

Edmonton Valley Zoo

13315 Buena Vista Road (87th Avenue)
PO Box 2359
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 2R7


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