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Central America Wildlife – White-faced Capuchin Monkey

By Guest

White-Faced Capuchin Monkeys are small and inquisitive new world monkeys and the easiest to observe in the wild. They are always around jumping from tree to tree. In Guatemala they are seen in forests along the Atlantic Coast. There are also populations of these monkeys in Honduras and Costa Rica. They can be found in forests and mangroves up to 2,100m elevation.

The back and top of their head is black, but has grades to creamy white on the sides and belly. The ends of the limbs are also black. The face is white, with the forehead hairs longer. Females are 32-40cm long with a 42-45.5cm tail and weighing 2.6-4.1kg. Males are a bit bigger and have 33-46cm long with a 40-50cm tail and weighing 3.2-5.5kg. They can live 44 or more years in captivity.

They frequently groom each other, and have complex social lives, with alliances made between different individuals. The groups are not territorial, but are aggressive to members of other groups. When predators approach, white-faced capuchins use trill vocalizations to coordinate movement in the group. They spend most of their time in the forest canopy and sometimes on the ground. They travel through the trees looking for fruits and insects. Capuchin monkeys are active in the daytime, and live in groups of 3-30, including at least one male.

Sexual maturity is not reached until 5-6 years. The gestation is about 150 days, after which one young is born. It takes around 2 years before the youngster is independent and the mother will breed again. The baby is carried by the mother and by other females in the group. Courtship is complex and is initiated by the female.

White-faced capuchins play an important role in seed dispersal, influencing forest regeneration. These guys are hunted for food and commonly kept as pets and collected in zoos. Most capuchins in zoos are bred in captivity; few are from the wild.

Marina K. Villatoro, has lived in Central America – Costa Rica and Guatemala for over 10 years. She’s traveled these parts extensively and now loves to organize vacations to these amazing parts of the world. With her first hand experience, she can recommend the best options for you. Contact her for advice and to plan your perfect trip!

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Guest, Guest "Central America Wildlife – White-faced Capuchin Monkey." Central America Wildlife – White-faced Capuchin Monkey. 6 Jul. 2010. 1 Nov 2014 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Guest, G (2010, July 6). Central America Wildlife – White-faced Capuchin Monkey. Retrieved November 1, 2014, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Guest, Guest "Central America Wildlife – White-faced Capuchin Monkey"

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