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Bolivian Squirrel Monkey: 15 Facts You Won't Believe!

Bolivian squirrel monkey facts talk about their breeding habits of these squirrel monkeys.

The squirrel monkeys have been divided into two distinct categories - the common squirrel monkey (saimiri sciureus) and the black-capped squirrel monkey (saimiri boliviensis). The black-capped squirrel monkey is further subdivided into the Peruvian squirrel monkey (Saimiri boliviensis peruviensis) and the Bolivian squirrel monkey (Saimiri boliviensis boliviensis). Bolivian squirrel monkeys are tree huggers! They spend most of their time in dense forests covered with trees. The species can hardly be traced on the ground surface or forest floor. These squirrel monkeys are diurnal, which implies that they mostly remain active during the day, scavenging for their favorite food. Their feeding behavior helps to maintain environmental balance. While feasting on fruits, they unwittingly disperse the seeds on the forest floor. Also, they feed on insects, thereby restricting their population from increasing rampantly.

Although the conservation status of the Bolivian squirrel monkey qualifies to the Least Concern group, there're some major threats that can potentially render the species vulnerable in the near future. Habitat loss is one of the major concerns. Human activities like hunting and trapping these monkeys for the pet trade industry have also affected their global population. Adequate conservation measures are the need of the hour to mitigate these threats.

If you want your kids to get acquainted with some other monkey species, then make haste and check out these illuminating facts about the howler monkey and red-tailed monkey.

Bolivian Squirrel Monkey Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Bolivian squirrel monkey?

A member of the Cebidae family, the Bolivian squirrel monkey (Saimiri boliviensis boliviensis) is a New World monkey species of the order Primates.

What class of animal does a Bolivian squirrel monkey belong to?

The Bolivian squirrel monkey belongs to the Mammalia class and Saimiri genus.

How many Bolivian squirrel monkeys are there in the world?

The Bolivian squirrel monkey has been placed under the Least Concern group by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List. Nevertheless, the population of the Bolivian squirrel monkey has been decreasing steadily throughout its habitat range. Although the accurate global numbers have not been quantified, they have been suffering immensely from the adverse effects of habitat loss. In general, squirrel monkeys have projected a declining population trend across the world. The numbers in Central America have drastically reduced from 200,000 to even lesser than 5,000.

Where does a Bolivian squirrel monkey live?

The Bolivian squirrel monkey is native or endemic to the countries of Bolivia, Peru, and Brazil in South America. You can spot these squirrel monkeys in the Manu National Park (Peru) or Beni Reserve (Bolivia).

What is a Bolivian squirrel monkey's habitat?

The habitat range of this New World squirrel monkey species skirts around both tropical and subtropical forests and gallery forests. They can even occasionally be traced in forest edges or among shrubs.

Who does a Bolivian squirrel monkey live with?

The Bolivian squirrel monkey displays social behavior. Generally, troops of 40 to 50 individuals can be commonly spotted, but large troops of about 10 - 550 members are not entirely uncommon. Movement in large groups is one of the biggest strengths of these New World monkeys. Did you know that the troops are segregated based on sex? Normally, adult males prefer to stay apart from the female groups.

How long does a Bolivian squirrel monkey live?

On average, the Bolivian squirrel monkey lives to be 15 - 20 years old. However, these monkeys can outlive the span and survive for a maximum of 30 years in captivity.

How do they reproduce?

Both sexes are polygamous. Females can mate with multi-male partners. On average, males reach sexual maturity within five years while females mature between two and three years. Each year, the mating season extends for only three months when adult males and females engage in copulation. Interestingly, the most dominant males in a group would be permitted to approach a female. Females use scent marking to attract partners. After successful breeding and conception, females gestate for a period of 152 - 172 days and usually give birth to an infant. Post-birth the mother nourishes the young ones with parental care while the males remain aloof. Weaning of the young takes place for four to six months. The mother normally protects the young from harm and ensures that it doesn't go astray.

What is their conservation status?

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List has grouped the Bolivian squirrel monkey of the order Primates under the Least Concern category owing to its widespread population within its range of South America.

Bolivian Squirrel Monkey Fun Facts

What do Bolivian squirrel monkeys look like?

Both males and females look alike apart from the only difference in the fur color on the crown. The females have a black crown, whereas the shade is gray in males. The species possesses an elongated, egg-shaped head while the tail is characteristically longer than its body size with black at the tip. Unlike most other monkey species, squirrel monkeys don't possess a prehensile tail. These monkeys have short, dense fur that is yellowish-tan in color with black at the edges. They have a seemingly white face due to the whitish cheek area as well as the circular potion surrounding the eyes. This feature renders a mask-like facial appearance to these animals. The Roman or rounded arch above the eyes offers these squirrel monkeys a unique identification. They have a short, blunt black-colored snout and muzzle.

Bolivian squirrel monkey facts are about wild arboreal mammals of South America.

How cute are they?

These small New World monkeys are really adorable, especially the little infants!

How do they communicate?

These squirrel monkeys interact through vocalizations as well as chemical and olfactory signals. 26 well-defined calls have been recorded. Peeps and chirps are produced in alarm, while purrs and squawks are audible at the time of the mating season. Barking is a portrayal of aggression, while they also scream when hurt. During the breeding season, females emit pheromones to attract males. Urine washing is also used to mark territories where both males and females apply some urine on their tail and hands and smear it on surfaces.

How big is a Bolivian squirrel monkey?

The average length of these squirrel monkeys ranges from around 8.8-14.5 in (225-370 mm). Males generally measure approximately 9.8-14.6 in (250-370 mm) with a tail length of 14.6-18.3 in (370-465 mm) while females grow up to 8.8-11.6 in (225-295 mm), having a tail length of 14.5-17.5 in (370-445 mm). The species is comparatively smaller than the langur monkey, with a body length of around 16-31 in (406-787 mm).

How fast can a Bolivian squirrel monkey jump?

The jumping speed specific to the Bolivian squirrel monkeys remains shrouded in mystery. However, squirrel monkeys are swift in their movements and can reach a speed of about 22 mph (35.4 kph), while these arboreal animals are adept at jumping over six feet from a static position.

How much does a Bolivian squirrel monkey weigh?

The average weight of a male is about 2.2 lb (992 g), whereas a female is comparatively smaller in size and lightweight, measuring around 1.7 lb (751 g). The Bolivian squirrel monkeys have a small-sized body that aids them in their agile movements.

What are the male and female names of the species?

Neither the male nor the female has distinct names. They're commonly regarded as male and female squirrel monkeys, respectively.

What would you call a baby Bolivian squirrel monkey?

You can call a cute baby Bolivian squirrel an infant, the same as a little human baby.

What do they eat?

These species indulge in an omnivorous diet that is preferably a combination of a variety of fruits and insects. Like the common squirrel monkey (Saimiri sciureus), the Bolivian squirrel monkeys exhibit frugivorous as well as insectivorous inclinations. Other food such as nuts, seeds, arachnids, small vertebrates (bats and birds along with their eggs), leaves, flowers, and berries also constitute their diet. Foraging for food commonly takes place in a sufficiently large group. This joint venture not only distracts and disturbs the activities of insects but also enhances the capture rate.

How active are they?

Most of the foraging activities take place in bright daylight as Bolivian squirrel monkeys stay highly active during the day. They invest half the time in foraging while the other half is chiefly invested in feeding.

Would they make a good pet?

Accurate details of the Bolivian squirrel monkey as a pet is not available. However, a common squirrel monkey (Saimiri sciureus) is believed to make an excellent pet owing to its outgoing and playful nature. Among all primates, squirrel monkeys have gained a good reputation in the pet market, especially in some regions of South America. However, these pets require lots and lots of space to move about freely along with proper diet, care, and attention. The price of a pet squirrel monkey is somewhere in the range of $5500 - $8000.

Did you know...

These arboreal animals play a crucial role in the ecosystem. Firstly, the insect diet of these squirrel monkeys prevents the insect population from multiplying unhampered. They also aid germination seeds either through excreta or by dropping them while feeding. This makes them excellent agents of dispersal of seeds.

Females are extremely protective and caring towards their offspring. The parental duties of mother squirrel monkeys towards the young include nursing, dorsal carriage, retrieval, and cleaning.

Do you know that these unique squirrel monkeys even conquered space? Astonished? You read it right! The squirrel money famed Baker survived a spaceflight along with its partner, Able (the rhesus monkey). Both primates were sent on a space expedition onboard a rocket. They engraved their names in American history by setting up a milestone in the month of May 1959.

Why are they called squirrel monkeys? 

If you think that the squirrel monkeys are relatives of the squirrel or that spider monkeys are connected to spiders, then you're gravely mistaken! In fact, there is absolutely no genetic connection between the two. The squirrel-like behavior of these monkeys has earned them their name. These animals are quite small, spry, and nimble, just like the squirrels. They prefer dwelling mostly in trees, jumping and hopping about on branches of trees. On the other hand, the spider monkeys are called so because their long fingers resemble those of the spiders.

Are Bolivian squirrel monkeys intelligent? 

Do you know that the harpy eagle (Harpia harpyja) preys on these squirrel monkeys? Interestingly, these primates have a unique defense mechanism against predation, that is, navigating in large groups! These arboreal animals stick together in large groups to avoid these predatory eagles while scaling up their vigilance. Factually, the squirrel monkey possesses a larger brain when compared with its small body. They can even identify and memorize colors.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these Nigerian dwarf goat fun facts or bavarian mountain hound surprising facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable monkey yawning coloring pages.

The main image is by Albinfo and the second image is by H. Zell.

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