Capuchin Monkey Lifespan: How Long Do They Live in The Wild & As Pets

Rhea Nischal
Jan 19, 2023 By Rhea Nischal
Originally Published on Oct 25, 2021
Edited by Lara Simpson
Fact-checked by Gowri Rao
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White-headed Capuchin sitting on a tree branch

If you have seen the movies Night at the Museum and George of the Jungle, you may have already noticed a Capuchin monkey because all three of these movies starred it!

Capuchin monkeys are highly demanded pets that are trainable and intelligent. They are believed to be the cutest, most humorous, and laziest monkeys of all.

'Capuchin' term of Capuchin monkey refers to all the monkeys of different species that are members of the Cebus. This genus consists of nine distinct species that all have a lot in common, like their average lifespan, habitat, and diet.

Their diet comprises fruit, insects, small animals, and nuts. Capuchin monkeys are adorable and live for about 35-45 years in captivity and about 25 years in the wild. Read on to learn more amazing facts about the extraordinary Capuchin monkey habitat, baby, predators, food, and more!

If you enjoyed this article, why not also read about bats as pets and bird beak here on Kidadl?

Capuchin Monkey Facts

Species of Capuchin monkeys are lazy but wise. Capuchins live in the lowlands and tropical forests of Central America and South America.

They are typically seen in the tropical lowlands and forests of countries of South America such as Colombia, Argentina, Brazil, and the Caribbean. They belong to the genus Cebus, the family Cebidae, and the subfamily Cebinae. The breeds Panamanian White-faced Capuchin (Scientific Name: Cebus capucinus) and white-faced Capuchin (Cebus capucinus) are breeds under the same species.

A Capuchin monkey is an extremely cute-looking monkey that is medium-sized and weighs between the average range of 6.6-8.8 lb (2.9-3.9 kg). Its body has a combination of brown, buff, white, and black colors.

Typically, they are cream and dark brown. They can attain a height ranging between 14-18 in (35.5-45.7 cm), with tails having a length similar to that of their body.

Fruits like mangoes and figs, small animals like lizards, insects, birds, tree rats like the Speckled spiny tree-rat, and leaves make up the primary diet of these omnivorous monkeys. They are known to eat anything and everything they can find in their surroundings.

They can even eat any strange insect or fruit they have never eaten before. Their major threats are snakes, eagles, and humans. Their average litter size is one, and they live in groups in their natural habitat.

As per The International Union for Conservation of Nature  (IUCN) Red List, the conservation status of these monkeys is listed as least concern. Many species of Capuchin monkeys are thriving in the wild, while the species known as the Blonde Capuchin (Sapajus Flavius), native to Brazil, is currently critically endangered, with only 180 adults remaining in the world.

Capuchin Monkey Behavior And Temperament

Capuchin monkeys do not like to live in an apartment or a home as they prefer to live in open spaces. These monkeys are quite friendly and social, but living in closed areas can cause them to become aggressive or even upset.

If these monkeys are kept as pets, there's a good chance that they will develop significant health issues.

This can happen as they need to be fed a special nutritious diet, and their owners sometimes fail to provide them with the right food. However, this monkey can be a great pet if its owner is well-experienced.

Capuchin monkeys believe in polygamy, meaning that they have more than one partner and do not practice monogamy. The females have been observed making certain chirping sounds when they are ready to mate. These noises are specifically used to attract a mate.

A female Capuchin monkey can be the mating partner of multiple males. She goes through a gestation period only a single time in two years.

The gestation period ranges between 152-183 days, and the female gives birth to only one baby monkey. This baby monkey can be referred to as an infant monkey as well. The baby monkey is born alive and is cared for by its mother.

Capuchins can be very loud occasionally and are noisy most of the time. The variety of sounds that Capuchin monkeys make can be heard easily.

These animals are believed to be the smartest of all New World monkeys. They are energetic and show activity throughout the day (diurnal). Capuchins are pretty social and territorial.

The majority of their day is spent foraging, spending time on trees, and quite interestingly, peeing to mark their own territory. Capuchin monkeys that are captive are equally charming and adorable. As babies, they require the same amount of care and love as is needed by a human baby.

Many owners make their pet wear a diaper, not only for the baby stage but also for the adult stage! As a baby, Capuchin is known to form a strong relationship with its human owner and their family.

Three White-headed Capuchin, Cebus capucinus, sitting on the tree branch

Capuchin Monkey Lifespan In Wild

Capuchins can live for approximately 25 years in their natural habitat. Their lifespan in the wild is comparatively lesser than in captive settings, as in the wild, they are constantly living with their predators. Their primary predators are eagles and snakes.

The Capuchin monkey is a mammal that lives in a group comprising 35 other animals of its species. The natural habitat of wild Capuchins consists of many trees.

They live on the branches of these trees. Capuchins eat food such as nuts, flowers, small birds, fruit, and bugs in their natural environment.

They are known to be lazy as they spend most of their time sleeping on the branches of trees. White-faced Capuchin monkeys keep themselves and others safe from harmful predators by using their voices to alarm everyone.

They will make a specific barking or a chirping noise that alerts other Capuchins that a predator is nearby. Upon hearing the alert, these Capuchin monkeys climb up the tree higher or evacuate the location.

Capuchin Monkey Lifespan In Captivity

Capuchin monkeys can live for 35 to 45 years in captivity. White-faced Capuchins are known to live as long as 45 years old in captivity. However, even though the long lifespan of these Capuchins might look attractive to some people, it is vital to be completely aware of every need and every law regarding the Capuchins.

Before you adopt a cute baby Capuchin monkey, you must be up to date with the laws in force regarding owning the Capuchin monkey as a pet. Many regions allow keeping Capuchin monkeys as pets, but some areas have deemed it illegal. Therefore, verifying that keeping a Capuchin monkey as a pet is legal in your area is suggested.

Keeping a Capuchin monkey as a pet is a costly affair that starts off with buying it at a whooping price that ranges between $5000-$7000. If you purchase a pet monkey that is of a young age, it might outlive you. Therefore, it is essential to consider your own age and the monkey's age before buying one.

As a pet, the monkey requires a well-balanced diet, and mimicking its natural diet is challenging. Capuchin monkeys can be fed commercial monkey chow along with vegetables, fruits, and baby food.

They can be kept interested if their diet is changing and their food is hidden so that they can search for it and then eat it. Capuchins must not be fed sweets, dairy products, or food from your table.

When these monkeys become five years old, they become difficult to care for and control. They also start to exhibit aggressive behavior, becoming the opposite of good pets.

Similar to other primates, Capuchins can transfer diseases to humans, like rabies and hepatitis. They also host the monkey B virus, also known as herpes B. Humans can get this virus and suffer from encephalomyelitis because of it.

Did you know?

The scientific name Cebus from the Capuchin monkeys' genus originates from the Greek term 'kêbos' meaning 'long tailed monkey'!

The male and female of this species do not have any distinct names and are simply called the female Capuchin and the male Capuchin.

A group consisting of white-faced Capuchins can be called a barrel, cartload, tribe, and a troop!

The favorite food of Capuchins is fruits!

These primates were trained as service animals up to 2010!

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for Capuchin monkey lifespan then why not take a look at bee life cycle or Capuchin monkey facts.

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Written by Rhea Nischal

Bachelor of Business Administration specializing in Management

Rhea Nischal picture

Rhea NischalBachelor of Business Administration specializing in Management

A background in Business Administration and Management from MCM DAV College, Rhea has led her to work for her father's global business. However, her passion for content production, where she manages operations to ensure all processes run smoothly. Outside of work, she enjoys playing the piano and spending time with her one-year-old nephew.

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Fact-checked by Gowri Rao

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Economics

Gowri Rao picture

Gowri RaoBachelor of Arts specializing in Economics

With a bachelor's degree in Economics from Krea University, Gowri is a highly skilled data analyst and an expert in regression and causation modeling. Her interests in economic trends, finance, and investment research complement her professional expertise. In addition to her professional pursuits, Gowri enjoys swimming, running, and playing the drums, and she is also a talented tutor.

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