Capuchins are small monkeys with the head and body measuring only 12-24 inches (30-60 cm); the tail is a similar length, reaching 2 feet (60 cm). The tails helps the monkeys maintain their balance in the trees. Capuchins live in the forests of South America. They range from Costa Rica south to Argentina and are also found on Trinidad. Capuchins are tree-dwelling creatures. They sleep on tree branches and descend to the ground only when they need to drink or make short journeys on foot across open areas.
The name capuchin is derived from the resemblance of the hair on the head to the pointed capuche of Franciscan monks. The capuchins are also known as ringtail monkeys from their habit of carrying their tail with the tip coiled up.
The Tufted Capuchin (Sapajus apella) diet consists mainly of fleshy fruits and arthropods, although during the season, when other foods are least available, he eats palm fruits. The pindo palm is the key food source for tufted capuchins, although they may eat figs and vine fruits.
- The Atlantic Forest of South America: Biodiversity Status, Threats, and Outlook. Carlos Galindo Leal, Ibsen de Gusmão Câmara
- International Wildlife Encyclopedia. Maurice Burton, Robert Burton