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Capuchin Monkeys

Capuchin monkeys are New World monkeys found across Argentina, Central and South America.

Capuchin monkeys true to their name resemble the dress code of the capuchin monks. The species has a black or dark brown body, arms, legs, tail and top portion of the head. The chest, face and throat are white or beige in color and while their tails are almost as long as their bodies, they reach a length of about 30 to 55 centimeters.

Their weight can vary from anywhere between 3 to 8.5-9 lbs. To keep pet capuchin monkeys it is important to know what they are like in the wild. The species are arboreal and diurnal and although they do take a midday nap, most of the day is spent on the move in search of food.

They sleep on tree branches, usually wedged between them. They are omnivorous unlike several other monkey species and they consume a variety of fruits, nuts, seeds, buds, eggs, insects, spiders and vertebrates that are small in size. Some capuchins that live near water sources are known to eat shellfish and crabs by cracking their shells with small stones.

Wild capuchin monkeys close to agricultural areas are known to have destroyed crops when their habitat has been destroyed forcing them to move close to human populations. Also called greyhound jockey monkeys and synonymous with organ grinders, they are also kept as exotic pets and are trained by organization as service pets. Some pet capuchin monkeys have been specifically trained to assist quadriplegics. Just as one has dogs for mobility assistance, these monkeys are trained to do household tasks like opening bottles, washing the person’s face and so on. There are several pet monkey species apart from the capuchin and these are marmosets, macaques, spiders, squirrels, tamarins and guenons. It is important to decide what species of monkey one wishes to adopt as a pet. Before buying a pet, read up on the species and make sure you have enough financial resources to take care of it. The type of cage to be bought and food to be given have to be decided in advance. The prospective owner will also have to make sure that there is a vet available who has some experience in treating primates. All monkey breeds are fairly social animals and leaving them home alone can be destructive to the furniture among other things. And hence, they will need a playmate as well. All these factors will have to e taken into account as they require a lot of time and energy on your part as well.

  Submitted on April 22, 2010  

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