Saimiri sciureus: Common squirrel monkey

The common squirrel monkey [Saimiri sciureus] is a small New World primate from the Cebidae [squirrel monkey] family, and native to the tropical areas of South America.

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The common squirrel monkey can be found primarily in the Amazon Basin, including territories in the countries of Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, Paraguay and Venezuela; a small population has been introduced to Southern Florida and many of the Caribbean Islands. The common squirrel monkey prefers to live in the middle canopy, but will occasionally come to the ground or go up into the high canopy. They like vegetation that provides good cover from birds of prey in the rainforest, savannah, mangroves, or marshlands.

The squirrel monkey’s tail is not prehensile but it used in balancing as the animal jumps through the trees. Their body length is about 32cm [12.5 inches] with a slightly longer tail 41cm [16 inches]. Males are heavier [750g] than females [500g]. Their coat is short, greyish or olive in colour except for its bright yellow-orange legs. Its white face has a peak of dark fur on the forehead and a dark muzzle.

Photo: Singapore ZooSingapore, 20120722

Source: Wikipedia, Bristol Zoo Gardens

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