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Squirrel monkey

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Squirrel monkey
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Image by krembo1
Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica.

After getting located in the cheapest hostel we could have found in Manuel Antonio (Lindas hostel - very very recommended!) we were mostly hanging around on the beach or local food stores. on one day it was raining cat and dogs so we played cards most of the day and when it stopped- it was too late already to go to the beach so we kept on playing when suddenly, out of nowhere, a group of dozens of squirrel monkeys banched on tree at the entrance to the hostel for a year photo or few paparazzi photos of tourists who came toghter from all around town to see this marevelous monkeys jumping from one branch to another and gossip the audience... so cute!

One of the owners of this hostel fed them with tons of bananas, after all- it's not each day you get such public relations for free!

info from wikipedia about sqirrel monkeys
Squirrel monkeys live in the tropical forests of Central and South America in the canopy layer. Most species have para- or allopatric ranges in the Amazon, while S. oerstedii is found disjunctly in Costa Rica and Panama.

Squirrel monkey fur is short and close, colored olive at the shoulders and yellowish orange on its back and extremities. Their throat and the ears are white and their mouths are black. The upper part of their head is hairy. This black and white face gives them their German name, "skull monkeys".

Squirrel monkeys grow to 25 to 35 cm, plus a 35 to 42 cm tail. They weigh 750 to 1100g. Remarkably, the brain mass to body mass ratio for squirrel monkeys is 1:17, which gives them the largest brain, proportionately, of all the primates.Humans have a 1:35 ratio.

Female squirrel monkeys have a pseudo-penis that they use to display dominance over smaller monkeys, much like the way the male squirrel monkeys display their dominance.

Like most of their New World monkey relatives, squirrel monkeys are diurnal and arboreal. Unlike the other New World monkeys, their tail is not used for climbing, but as a kind of "balancing pole" and also as a tool. Their movements in the branches are extremely speedy.

They live together in multi-male/multi-female groups with up to 500 members. These large groups can, however, occasionally break into smaller troops. They have a number of vocal calls, including warning sounds to protect themselves from large falcons, which are a natural threat to them. Their small body size also makes them susceptible to predators such as snakes and felids. For marking territory, squirrel monkeys rub their tail and their skin with their own urine.

Squirrel monkeys are omnivores, eating primarily fruits and insects. Occasionally they also eat nuts, buds, eggs and small vertebrates.

The mating of the squirrel monkeys is subject to seasonal influences. Females give birth to young during the rainy season, after a 150- to 170-day gestation. The mothers exclusively care for the young. Saimiri oerstedti are weaned by 4 months of age, while S. boliviensis are not fully weaned until 18 months old. Female squirrel monkeys reach sexual maturity at age 3 years, while males take until age 5. They live to about 15 years old in the wild, about 20 years in captivity.

Common Seal Pup (Phoca Vitulina), Cromer Beach
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Image by spencer77
Used by website www.naturfakta.no/dyr/?id=63151
This picture is available to use for free, under the creative commons licence. All I ask is that I'm given a photo credit & a courtesy email to let me know how it's being used.

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Image by Gita Rau

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