Squirrel Monkey eating food while on rope

Squirrel monkey

Saimiri sciureus
Conservation Status IUCN
Least Concern

For more info on classifications visit

endangered list labels least concern
endangered list least concern sign
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    Animal Class
    Mammal, Primate
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    Tropical rain forests. Squirrel monkeys will inhabti the upper canopy of the forest.
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    Omnivores – Diet consists of a variety of foods including fruits, flowers and insects.
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    Conservation Status
    Least concern
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  • Introduction

    Squirrel monkeys have the largest brain, relative to body size of all, non-human, primate species.

    They are a highly social species that live in large groups, sometimes reaching up to 300 individuals in size, depending on the availability of resources. They have up to 30 distinct vocalisations that they will use to communicate to each other, as well as scent marking.

    Squirrel Monkeys have a white mask of fur around their eyes, with dark brown or black around the mouth. Their fur is greyish brown in colour with yellow fur on their limbs.

    Squirrel monkeys are an arboreal species that lives high up in the tree canopy only occasionally coming down to the ground.

    Their tail is not prehensile, it is used for balancing when jumping form tree to tree.

    Squirrel monkeys play a key role in the ecosystem, that they inhabit. By eating fruits, they carry out seed dispersal and therefore contribute to the healthy growth of plants in the rain forest.

    Size: Squirrel Monkeys are approximately 32cm in length and their tail can reach up to 40cm. They weigh between 649grams and 1.25Kg.

  • Threats/ Conservation

    Least concern:

    There population is under threat of decline due to habitat destruction and capture for the pet trade.

    Emerald Park conservation contribution:


    Squirrel monkeys are part of the EAZA Ex-situ Programme (EEP). This means that their population is managed to ensure that there are heathy individuals within EAZA member zoos should there be the requirement of reintroductions, to the wild, in the future.

  • Habitat

    Squirrel monkeys can be found in South America where they are resident in Guyana, French Guyana and Brazil. They will inhabit the upper canopy of the tropical rain forest.

  • Fun Facts

    Squirrel monkeys breed seasonally. Females are responsible for almost all parental care, with the fathers taking no part in the rearing of the young.

    When individuals spot a threat, they will communicate with the other members in the group by making aloud alarm call. This will be passed on through the group, which can span across a wide range, acting like a huge alarm system, for all other animals in the rain forest.