Fun Mandrill Facts For Kids

Martha Martins
Oct 27, 2022 By Martha Martins
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Jacob Fitzbright
Fact-checked by Oluwapelumi Iwayemi
Thrill yourselves with these fun mandrill facts!

Undoubtedly, we all cheered loudly for Simba when he was raised into the air by the colorful Rafiki, the wise mandrill of the Pride Lands.

Upon spotting a mandrill, all you can see are colors. A colorful face, tinted body, everything is so beautiful about a mandrill.

Mandrills belong to the Old World monkey family. They are the largest surviving monkeys in the world today. You will usually spot these beautiful primates in the African tropical rainforests.

With a body having various tints from a painter’s palette, they look almost too good to be true. They are often confused with their fellow monkeys, the baboons, and drills. Even the English naturalist Charles Darwin was enchanted by the mandrill coloration and states that no other mammal was so extraordinarily colored as an adult mandrill

Unfortunately, these beautiful primates are vulnerable to extinction, and measures must be taken to protect the mandrill populations.

Are you excited to know more about Mandrills? You may also enjoy reading our pages on the Japanese macaque and the Capuchin monkeys!

Mandrill Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Mandrill?

The mandrill is a type of monkey.

What class of animal does a Mandrill belong to?

These Old World monkeys come under the class Mammalia.

How many Mandrills are there in the world?

Unfortunately, there is no exact number available for the total mandrill population. However, these primates are in danger as they are mainly hunted for meat.

Where does a Mandrill live?

Mandrills prefer living in lush green environments, such as rocky forests and tropical rainforests.

What is a Mandrill's habitat?

Mandrills are mainly spotted in Gabo, the Republic of Congo, the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, parts of Nigeria, and the southern region of Cameroon. This species prefers living in forests, be it tropical rainforests, rocky forests, gallery forests, riparian forests, or even densely cultivated patches of land.

Who do Mandrills live with?

Mandrills live in the company of their mates in large groups called 'hordes' or 'troops'. Each horde can house hundreds of these animals, with an average ranging between 615 and 845 individuals.

Calculating the actual horde size in forests is a difficult task to perform. Hence, an alternative approach adopted is to film the entirety of a horde crossing between two areas in a forest, or a road, or a bridge.

Following this, the largest horde ever recorded contained more than 1,300 mandrills! This was noted at the Lopé National Park in Gabon, Central Africa.

Usually, the male mandrills disperse from their groups, and it is only the females who stay back in the horde in which they have been born. Thus, this helps them have strong bonds and connections with the others in the group, thus having harmony and peace among the group.

Such connections also help them solve conflicts more efficiently. Thus, hordes mostly constitute females and their little offspring.

How long does a Mandrill live?

The mandrill's lifespan is on average 31 years.

How do they reproduce?

The adult male mandrills stay alone for the majority of their lives and rejoin the troop only when the females are ready to breed. The breeding season of the adult male and female mandrills occurs between the months of June to October.

The breeding happens once every two years. There are two categories among the male mandrills - one is the colorful dominant mandrills, while the other is the paler submissive monkeys.

Sometimes, the males have to fight for breeding, which is usually rare, but deadly when it occurs. Winning such fights increases the reproductive opportunities of the dominant male. The mandrill babies are usually born in the months between January and May.

Their pregnancy usually lasts for about six months. The little babies are born with pink skin.

The female mandrill takes the responsibility of raising the little ones. They tend not only to their infants but even to those of the other relatives.

What is their conservation status?

The IUCN lists the mandrill's conservation status as Vulnerable.

Mandrill Fun Facts

What do Mandrills look like?

Mandrills have very colorful bodies.

Color, color, color. That’s what you would notice in a mandrill. This monkey has a fur coat that is either olive or blackish-grey in color, complemented with black and yellow bands.

The mandrill's bellies are white in color. Mandrills have a hairless face with a prominent elongated muzzle. The muzzle has a red stripe running down it, and blue ridges on its sides.

They have red lips and nostrils, and a yellow beard on their face. Their genitals and rump are colorful, with hues of pink, purple, blue, and red.

The dominant alpha male of this species has brighter colors compared to the submissive ones. Both the male and the female mandrills possess chest glands. They possess sharp long teeth, with their canine teeth being as long as 2.5 in (6.35 cm) in males, and about 1 in (0.4 in) in the females.

How cute are they?

We would not really term these Old World Monkeys as cute, but they are very beautiful and powerful creatures.

How do they communicate?

The mandrill's teeth play a vital role in communication. When mandrills bare their teeth while shaking their heads and maintaining an erect head crest it symbolizes a harmonious intent in communication among this species.

Submission to dominance is conveyed by showing the rump. They can get pretty aggressive at times, and display their anger by staring, bobbing their heads, and also by slapping the ground.

Various sounds such as crowings, roars, and grunts are made to convey their presence over long distances. Over shorter distances, the mandrills will grunt, scream, and make a variety of sounds.

These sounds are ‘yaks’, ‘kk-kk’ sounds, or ‘kk-kk’ alarms. If a mandrill exposes their sharp canines, this is not a sign of aggression - they are actually being jovial and friendly, like they are smiling!

How big is a Mandrill?

An average adult male mandrill's length is 32-41 in (81.2-104 cm), whereas the female, being smaller, is 24-30 in (61-76.2 cm) long. This length includes the length of their tails, which accounts for another 2-4 in (5-10 cm).

When this species is on all four limbs, the shoulder height of the male primates is about 22-26 in (56-66 cm), whereas the female mandrill is 18-20 in (46-51 cm) tall.

The heights and lengths of mandrills are about two or three times the shoulder height and lengths of an average raccoon respectively.

How fast can a Mandrill move?

These creatures can attain a speed of about 25 mph (40.23 kph)!

How much does a Mandrill weigh?

This Old World monkey bears the title of being the heaviest surviving monkey. The adult male mandrills weigh about 42-82 lb (19-37 kg), with an average of 71 lb (32.2 kg).

The female is almost half the weight of their opposite sex. They weigh in the range of 22-33 lb (10-15 kg), averaging it to about 27 lb (12.247 kg). The largest of mandrills can weigh up to 119 lb (54 kg)!

What are their male and female names of the species?

The male and female animals of this species do not have exclusive names.

What would you call a baby Mandrill?

There is no specific name for a baby mandrill, however, a baby monkey is called an 'infant', just like a baby human!

What do they eat?

Mandrills are omnivorous animals. Considering the vegetarian part of their diet, it comprises fruits, leaves, fibers, lianas, plants, stems, vines, and bark. They even eat soil at times.

Mushrooms are also a part of their diet. Coming to the carnivorous elements of their diet, this undeniably comprises insects such as crickets, beetles, termites, ants, as well as scorpions, spiders, and snails.

The mandrill diet also includes rats, frogs, shrews, birds, porcupines, tortoises, and eggs. They do not hold back on eating larger animals such as baby antelopes and deers. The presence of long, sharp canine teeth makes it easy to prey on larger animals.

Are they loud?

Aggression brings out extremely loud screams and grunts from these animals.

Would they make a good pet?

We absolutely would deny keeping a mandrill as a pet because of its aggressive nature, but also because they are wild animals, and their behavior isn't suited to being kept in captivity.

Did you know...

Mandrillus sphinx is the binomial name of this monkey. This name was given after the mythological figure of Greece, the Sphinx, who possesses a human head and an animal body.

Mandrills follow the diurnal form of living. They follow different forms of movements - on land, they walk on the toes of all their limbs. If they are moving between trees, they jump with the help of their hands by grasping the firm branches of the trees. They prefer sleeping in the trees at night.

This smart species also use available resources such as sticks and stones as tools.

These little cheeky creatures actually store their food in their large cheek pouches!

Why are Mandrills endangered?

These social primates are unfortunately in danger. One of the major threats they face is from humans. Mandrills are sometimes hunted by people as bushmeat, as it is considered a delicacy for them. They are also facing habitat losses due to deforestation. The young mandrills often fall prey to large predators such as leopards, snakes, tigers, eagles, and lions.

What is the difference between a Mandrill and a Baboon?

The first obvious difference between baboons and mandrills is that baboons do not have as much color on their bodies as mandrills. Usually, baboons have either an olive, brown, or greyish face and body, whereas mandrills have multiple colors on their bodies.

Mandrills live natively only in Africa, whereas baboons are spread around Africa and the Arabian peninsular.

Another difference in the mandrill vs baboon discussion is that baboons have a smaller body size when compared to mandrills.

Mandrill is just one single species, whereas there are five distinct species of baboons.

Baboons possess a pink muzzle, compared to Mandrills who have dark muzzles with multiple blue ridges.

The conservation status of the baboon species is not as threatened as the mandrills.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals including the proboscis monkey and the ring-tailed lemur.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one of our mandrill coloring pages.  

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Written by Martha Martins

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Linguistics

Martha Martins picture

Martha MartinsBachelor of Arts specializing in Linguistics

Martha is a full-time creative writer, content strategist, and aspiring screenwriter who communicates complex thoughts and ideas effectively. She has completed her Bachelor's in Linguistics from Nasarawa State University. As an enthusiast of public relations and communication, Martha is well-prepared to substantially impact your organization as your next content writer and strategist. Her dedication to her craft and commitment to delivering high-quality work enables her to create compelling content that resonates with audiences.

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Fact-checked by Oluwapelumi Iwayemi

Bachelor of Science specializing in Systems Engineering

Oluwapelumi Iwayemi picture

Oluwapelumi IwayemiBachelor of Science specializing in Systems Engineering

Iwayemi is a creative content writer and editor studying for a Bachelor of Science specializing in Systems Engineering from the University of Lagos. He is skilled in research and has experience writing and editing content for different organizations.

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