Wild Fact #121 – True Friends Don’t Care If You Pee On Yourself – Tufted Capuchin

Tufted Capuchin

Photo by Frans de Waal

Did You Know?

  • The Tufted Capuchin is classed as a New World Monkey (I wonder if the New World and Old World Monkey’s can’t stand each other), which can be found in South America
  • Much like other Monkey’s, todays featured animal is a social creature that likes to hang out in gangs (or troops if you want to be boring and technical) of 8 to 15 individuals
  • While it is unknown how long the Tufted Capuchin typically survives for in the wild, they have been known to live for roughly 45 years in captivity

An Odd Way To Introduce Yourself

I was quite surprised to learn that the Tufted Capuchin is a social animal. Sure it makes sense as most Monkey’s tend to live in groups but this particular species has a very odd behaviour, which would make it difficult to get new friends. You see, this odd animal likes (well, I think they like it) to pee on their hands and then proceed to rubbing this said urine all over their body. You would think meeting others would be difficult when you reek of urine but apparently this method of scent marking tells everyone in the forest who they are. Please remind me to never shake hands with a Tufted Capuchin.

Brown Tufted Capuchin

Photo by Charlesjsharp (Wikipedia)

Ideal Food for the Tufted Capuchin

When they aren’t busy peeing on themselves, this New World Monkey will spend much of their time hanging out in the trees looking for scrumptious snacks such as fruits, seeds, vegetation, insects as well as  birds, reptiles and small mammals. For some reason, I have a tough time picturing a cute little Capuchin monkey chewing on a helpless Mouse Opossum but apparently it happens. During times of food shortage the alpha male of the troop will always eat first, which seems to suggest that during other times when the food supply is vast the Monkey’s are allowed to eat as they please. Incidentally, when a Tufted Capuchin actually catches their prey (i.e. birds, reptiles, etc) they don’t usually share with the rest of the group…and who can blame them since they know the alpha male will simply take their hard earned meal. Sometimes you just have to look out for numero uno.

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