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Tufted Capuchin

Place to admire: Animal Plaza

Scientific name: Cebus apella

IUCN-status: Least concern

General Information

The Tufted Capuchin belongs to the genus of day active broad-nosed monkeys. This monkey species is very agile, where they easily jump from one branch to another.

Each group has 1 dominant male. He tolerates only a few monkeys, mainly the younger animals and a few females.


The Tufted Capuchin is found in the tropical forests and open woodlands of South America. Here, it lives solitary, and in groups of up to 20 monkeys.

This monkey species has no fixed territory, but lives in habitats. Thus, they frequently move around, depositing scent. This is done by rubbing their hands with urine and smearing it on their fur.


On the forehead of the Tufted Capuchin is a bunch or row of long, hardened hairs. When he straightens these hairs, a kind of ‘wig‘ is created. The rest of its body has brown and coarse fur.


The Tufted Capuchin likes to eat bats, frogs, young birds, insects, and fruits. When they search for food, they do it in groups.

When one of them found some food, it will make a loud whistling sound to alert the others.

The vanguard of the group consists of higher-ranking females and offspring. They arrive first, followed by the most dominant male. Next comes the rear guard. This consists of the subordinate monkeys of the group.

The dominant male eats first, with the monkeys of the vanguard. Afterwards, the subordinate monkeys are allowed to eat.

Social behavior

Tufted Capuchins take very good care of themselves. With ‘grooming‘, these monkeys strengthen their bond in the group. Grooming means cleaning each other’s fur. Because of this, grooming can be considered a social and grooming event.

In addition, Tufted Capuchins think very carefully. For example, they use stones or hard objects to break open nuts to eat.

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