Squirrel Monkey

By Marla Lise

Squirrel monkey (Saimiri sciureus)

Squirrel Monkey

Scientific Name: Saimiri oerstedii

Squirrel monkeys are found in the secondary forests of South America. These tiny monkeys only grow up to about 1100 grams and are seen scampering through all levels of the forest canopy on all 4 legs. They constantly also fling themselves from tree to tree, seemingly without any fear at all of falling. To help them jump like this, their thighs are shorter than the lower part of their legs and their tail is used to help them balance.

Squirrel monkeys can move in groups of up to 500 individuals. About 90% of their diet is made up of fruit, however they do eat little insects and bird eggs, making them omnivores.

Common Squirrel Monkey (Saimiri sciureus)

When babies are born, they spend the first few months of their lives clinging on to the backs of their mothers.

These monkeys are caught both for the illegal pet trade and for use in medical research. There have been many cases of these agile animals being caught in power lines and being electrocuted. Also, their small sizes makes them highly susceptible to attacks from birds of prey, snakes and cats.

From 1992 to 2003 these monkeys were listed as endangered. In 2008, they were then classified as vulnerable. However as more of their forest homes are being cut down, they might end up becoming endangered and soon after, even extinct.

Animal profiles

Bare-Faced Ibis
Blue and Gold Macaw
Common Potoo
Green Honeycreeper
Grey Winged Trumpeter
Harpy Eagle
Horned Screamer
Jabiru Stork
Malachite Kingfisher
Mealy Parrot
Northern Cassowary
Savanna hawk
Scale-crested pygmy-tyrant
Rhinoceros Hornbill
Scarlet Ibis
Wattled Jacana

Asian black bear
Black-and-white ruffed lemur
Black-faced spider monkey
Bornean Rhino
Brown capuchin monkey
Capybara [2nd profile]
Coquerel's Sifaka
Crowned Lemur
Eastern Long Beaked Echidna
Howler Monkey
Malagasy Giant Jumping Rat
Malayan Tapir
Mountain Gorilla
Plains Zebra not a rainforest species
South American tapir
South American coatimundi
Spectral Tarsier
Spider Monkey
Squirrel Monkeys
White-lipped peccary
Woolly Monkey

Green Basilisk
Leatherback Sea Turtle not a rainforest species
Pygmy stump-tailed chameleon
Spectacled Caiman

Giant Chinese Salamander
Gladiator Tree Frog
Green Poison Arrow Frog
Indian Purple Frog
Monkey Frog
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