The White-Fronted Capuchin (Cebus Albifrons) is a New World Monkey in the Cebidae family of monkeys and is found in seven different countries in South America including Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, and Trinidad and Tobago. The White-Fronted Capuchin species is divided into several different sub-species including Ecuadorian Capuchins, Shock-Headed Capuchins, Trinidad White-Fronted Capuchins, and Varied Capuchins; though any specific divisions are uncertain and controversial according to many scientists and researchers.
White-Fronted Capuchins are medium-sized monkeys that are notable for their light brown fur and milky white fur on their underbelly. Though they are preyed upon by small cats, raptors, and other birds of prey, there numbers are declining mainly due to deforestation and destruction of habitat caused by humans for the lumber trade and farming. Furthermore, White-Fronted Capuchins are one of the only primates to be observed constructing and utilizing tools on a regular basis in the wild.
The habitat for the White-Fronted Capuchin ranges across several countries in South America including Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, and Trinidad and Tobago. Spending most of their time foraging in the rainforest canopy, White-Fronted Capuchins prefer to dwell in dense primary growth rainforests where moving from tree to tree is easiest; though they can be found in a variety of different types of forest areas. Unlike most New World Monkey species, the White-Fronted Capuchin does very well in flooded forests, forests growing over white sand, and forests growing in the rocks and gravel at the foot of mesas. Dense forest regions also offer aerial cover to camouflage the White-Fronted Capuchin from birds of prey; their most common natural predator.
Like nearly all Capuchin species, the White-Fronted Capuchin are omnivores and eat fruits, small animals, and bird eggs that they forage at all levels of the forest; predominately in the canopy. However, during dry season in regions such as northern Columbia, the White-Fronted Capuchin will spend the vast majority of its time forest floor hunting for small prey such as frogs, spiders, and other insects. The act of hunting small amphibians such as frogs seems to be learned by generations passing down the knowledge from one member to the next. In wet seasons, the White-Fronted Capuchin will eat more fruit to balance out their diet.
Fun White-Fronted Capuchin Facts
- Adult male White-Fronted Capuchins are notably tolerant of others in the same group, but are very aggressive towards males of other groups.
- White-Fronted Capuchins have been observed using leaves as cups to drink water from tree cavities.
- The most common behavior of White-Fronted Capuchins after detecting a potential ground predator is making “ya-ya” vocalizations and breaking branches over the head of the potential predator.
- The white-fronted capuchin can be found in groups ranging from as small as 8 individuals to large groups of around 35 individuals depending on the region.