The Black Squirrel Monkey (Saimiri Vanzolinii), also known as the Blackish Squirrel Monkey or Black-Headed Squirrel Money, is a New World Monkey in the Cebidae family of monkeys and is found in only as very restricted area of rainforest in central Brazil. Closely resembling the much more common Black-Capped Squirrel Monkey, the Black Squirrel Monkey features a distinctive area of black in its central back that allows onlookers to tell the breeds apart.
The Black Squirrel Monkey has one of the most restricted geographical distributions of any New World Monkey species, with its entire range limited to within the Mamirauá Sustainable Development Reserve. It is typically only found living in the várzea forest in the confluence of the Japura and Solimoes rivers, but it can be found just slightly out of the confines of that region.
The Black Squirrel Monkey, like many New World Monkey species, is an omnivore; meaning it eats both plants and animals. Feeding on a combination of mainly fruits and small insects, the Black Squirrel Monkey has also been known to eat spiders, frogs, and other small vertebrates as part of its normal diet. Although they have evolved special adaptations to access plant exudates from trees, the Black Squirrel Monkey has a rather diverse diet and will gladly eat whatever sources of food that are most readily available to them.
Fun Black Squirrel Monkey Facts
- Black Squirrel Monkeys have a population density of only 36 individuals per square kilometer.
- Breeding season for the Black Squirrel Monkey only last around 3 months per year.
- Black Squirrel Monkeys have the thinnest tails out of any breed of Squirrel Monkeys.
- Squirrel Monkeys have the largest brains of all primates relative to their body size; about 4-5% of their body weight.