Capuchin monkeys had their name derived from the Franciscan Capuchin whose cowl is similar to the coloration of the monkeys. They belong to the Cebinae family and Cebus genus. Capuchin monkeys are found in Central America and South America.
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Keeping Capuchin Monkeys as Pets
Capuchin monkeys are also known as sapajou, these species of monkeys are considered to be the most intelligent of all present species of monkeys.
The face, neck and chest of Capuchin monkeys are white colored where as the rest of the body is either brown or black colored. Their body grows up to twelve to twenty two inches in height and their hairy tails are also usually the same length as the body.
Their Weight and Lifespan
The average body weight of Capuchin monkeys is two pounds. The males weigh more than the females. When they are held in captivity, they can live up to forty five years, but in their wild habitat they usually live for only fifteen to twenty five years.
They stay awake during the day and sleep at night except for the midday nap they take. During the day, they spend most of the time looking for food and at night, they sleep on the branches of the trees.
Capuchin Monkeys are Very Social
Capuchin monkeys are very social and live in groups of eight to forty males, females and their children. The area where the whole group lives together is marked with the smell of urine and intruders are not welcome.
A strong male controls the whole group and mates with the rest of the females in the group to produce offspring. Female Capuchin monkeys have the capability of reproducing every two years. Their pregnancy period lasts from five to six months.
Caring for the Offspring
The offspring cling onto the chest of the mother and when they grow big enough, they shift to their back. They expect their mothers to babysit till they are three months old. Male Capuchin monkeys have no participation in the upbringing of their offspring.
But if people want to keep them as pets, before keeping them as pets, they can be neutered. The whole group finds solace in grooming, which they also use as a means of expressing their feelings.
They even break millipedes into pieces so as to rub them on their body to repel insects and mosquitoes.
Capuchin Monkeys are Very Intelligent
Capuchin's are very intelligent mammals and have been known to use various tools to assist them in their daily life. They drink the juice of palm nut fruits from the tip and then let them dry.
After they dry, they will collect them and break them with the help of a big boulder collected from the rivers. They have the ability to walk on their feet with food and tools in their hands.
Capuchin monkeys are also clever enough to find food on the ground as well as in trees. Unlike other monkeys, they are omnivorous. Along with eating food like seeds, nuts, fruits and flowers they also feed on eggs of birds, small birds, insects, spiders, reptiles, bats and even small mammals.
Some of them who live near water bodies also feed on shellfish and crabs, which they crack open with the help of stones.
Capuchin monkeys aren’t fussy about their environment; hence it is easy to maintain them as pets. People also favor keeping them as pets because they are good organ grinders and also as service animals.
They are also kept as pets to help quadriplegics (people whose all four limbs are paralyzed) around the house. Capuchin's are trained for this purpose by many organizations. They have the capability to open bottles, microwave food and even wash the face of the patient.
Safe Around Kids
They are also safe around kids in the house as they are very gentle in nature. They can also be taught tricks and some have even starred in movies.
Capuchin monkeys are also the most oppressed among the pet animals. They also become troublesome when they reach sexual maturity, which often confuses the owner.
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