Capuchin monkey

Species profile

Name: Capuchin monkeys are a group of 11 closely related species of monkey. They are widely known as the ‘organ grinder’ monkey and have been used in many movies and television shows.

Appearance: capuchins are usually a dark brown colour with a cream ruff around their necks -although the colour varies by species. They get their name from the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin who wear brown robes with large hoods. When Portuguese explorers reached the Americas in the 15th century, they found small monkeys whose colouring resembled these friars and named them capuchins!

Size: they weigh from 1 to 4 kg and reach a length of 30 to 56 cm – with tails that as long as their bodies.

Diet: capuchins feed on a huge range of different foods, from fruits and nuts to frogs and crabs – and even other primates! They are known for being extremely innovative foragers that can survive on almost anything.

Did you know: capuchins are one of the most intelligent monkeys in the world and can use stone tools to crack open fruits to get at the nuts inside. Due to their intelligence, they are often used in experiments on animal behaviour. Through these experiments, capuchins have even been observed using a form of money! They are also often used as service animals and help people with disabilities in a similar way to guide dogs. 

Location: they can be found in the tropical forests of Central America and South America as far south as Argentina. In Central America, they usually live in the wet lowland forests on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica and Panama or the dry forests on the Pacific coast.

Where to see capuchin monkeys

According to reports submitted to WildSide, you can see capuchin monkeys in the following places:

Place Chance to see User rating No. reports
Manuel Antonio
Costa Rica
very high
very good

Photo credit: joelfotos under a Creative Commons licence from Pixabay

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