Mandrill

Common Name:
Mandrill
Scientific Name:
Mandrillus sphinx
Type:
Mammals
Diet:
Omnivore
Group Name:
Troop
Average Life Span In The Wild:
20 years
Size:
3 feet
Weight:
77 pounds
IUCN Red List Status:
Vulnerable
Current Population Trend:
Unknown

Mandrills are the largest of all monkeys. They are shy and reclusive primates that live only in the rain forests of equatorial Africa.

Distinctive Colors and Teeth

Mandrills are extremely colorful, perhaps more so than any other mammal. They are easily identifiable by the blue and red skin on their faces and their brightly hued rumps. These distinctive colors become brighter when the animal is excited. They also have extremely long canine teeth that can be used for self-defense—though baring them is typically a friendly gesture among mandrills.

Behavior

These are primarily terrestrial monkeys, and they move with long arms to forage on the ground for fruits, roots, and animals such as insects, reptiles, and amphibians. Their cheeks have built-in pouches that are used to store snacks for later consumption. Though mandrills spend much of their time on the ground, they can climb trees and do so to sleep.

Mandrills live in troops, which are headed by a dominant male and include a dozen or more females and young. They also gather in multi-male/multi-female groups that can include some 200 individuals.

Threats to Survival

These colorful primates are threatened. They are often hunted as bushmeat, and many Africans consider them to be a delicacy. Mandrills are feeling the squeeze of spreading agriculture and human settlement—both are shrinking their rain forest homeland.

This photo was submitted to Your Shot, our photo community on Instagram. Follow us on Instagram at @natgeoyourshot or visit us at natgeo.com/yourshot for the latest submissions and news about the community.
This photo was submitted to Your Shot, our photo community on Instagram. Follow us on Instagram at @natgeoyourshot or visit us at natgeo.com/yourshot for the latest submissions and news about the community.
Photograph by Pedro Jarque Krebs, National Geographic Your Shot

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