The Bare-Eared Squirrel Monkey (Saimiri Ustus), also known as the Golden-Backed Squirrel Monkey, is a New World Monkey in the Cebidae family of monkeys and is endemic to the central Amazon rainforests of Brazil. Similar in appearance to many other members of the Squirrel Monkey family, the Bare-Eared Squirrel Monkey is unique in that it has no tufts of hair protruding from its ears. They only mate during the two driest months of the year, and the Bare-Eared Squirrel Monkey females give birth once every two years; giving birth to a single offspring.
The Bare-Eared Squirrel Monkey is typically found in the central rainforests of Brazil. Typically, it prefers seasonally inundated forests, forests along the river edge, floodplain regions, and secondary-growth forests. Bare-Eared Squirrel Monkeys use all levels of the forests for one reason or another, but forage and travel mainly in the lower canopy and at ground level where their preferred food sources are most abundant and water is easy for them to obtain.
Bare-Eared Squirrel Monkeys are omnivorous; mainly frugivore-insectivores. Most individuals will spend approximately 75-80% of their day foraging for insects and other small animal prey, as well as water. During dry season shortages of appropriate fruiting trees, they are able to depend entirely on animal prey; though Bare-Eared Squirrel Monkeys prefer to have a healthy balance of both insects and fruit as part of their diet.
Fun Bare-Eared Squirrel Monkey Facts
- A baby Bare-Eared Squirrel Monkey is called an “infant”.
- A Bare-Eared Squirrel Monkey group is called a troop, barrel, tribe, or cartload.
- The Bare-Eared Squirrel Monkey stands apart from the other species because of its lack of ear tufts.
- Squirrel Monkeys have the largest brains of all primates relative to their body size; about 4-5% of their body weight.