Friday, March 22, 2013

Friday Facts - Capuchins!

Pockets being reflective
Pockets is a White Headed Capuchin and Cheeko is a Tufted or Black Capped Capuchin.  Did you know that capuchins are considered the most intelligent of the New World monkeys and that they are sophisticated tool users?  We can attest to that!  Therefore, they need a high level of enrichment activities – games, puzzles, plants, tree branches, structures and food devices.  Pockets is always being inventive and finding new ways to do things!  As you know, he loves to paint and gets so excited to use different colours and techniques when creating.  Cheeko is very curious and checks out all the new things, plays with the “monkey in the mirror” and basks in the glow of his heat lamp.  The two boys play and tease each other with their long prehensile tails.  Although from South America, they enjoying going out and playing in the snow too, albeit for short spurts of time.  It is important that they have the choice to do so.
Cheeko enjoys the foliage
·        Capuchins have the largest brains of all the New World monkeys.
·        Like other monkeys in the genus Cebus, the White Headed Capuchin is named after the friars of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin– the cowls worn by these friars closely resemble the monkey's head coloration. When explorers in the 15th century found small monkeys which looked like these friars, they named them capuchin monkeys.
·        They can be between eight to thirteen pounds, with females being smaller.  Their life span is between 30 to 45 years.
·        It takes approximate two years for a young capuchin monkey to become independent from its mother.
·        Capuchins are active in the daytime, and live in groups of 3-30, including at least one male.
·        Capuchins are very vocal animals that scream, whistle and bark. Pockets and Cheeko are always chatting and playing!  In this way, they call each other in order to maintain contact and may express their dislike if someone or something disturbs them.  As with most primates, they frequently groom each other and have complex social lives with alliances made between different individuals.
·        Capuchins are tree dwellers who live in low-lying forests, in primary or advanced rainforests. They are native to Southern Central America and are found from Costa Rica to Paraguay and Trinidad. When I was volunteering in Costa Rica, the forests around us where home to wild troops.
·       Tufted capuchins are more powerfully built than the other capuchins, with rougher fur and a short, thick tail. They have a bundle of long, hardened hair on the forehead that is pronounced or tufted.