A large group of mischievous squirrel monkeys reside in Amazonia at Blackpool Zoo. This large, open enclosure allows the animals to mix with other primate species, parrots, waterfowl and, of course, the visitors, although vigilance is needed as they are so inquisitive that they will try to look in bags for food.
Monkeys do eat more than just bananas! In fact, they have a very varied diet in the wild, consuming seeds, leaves, flowers, some nuts, fruit, insects and even some small mammals. At the Zoo, they eat Trio (prepared food), carrots, seeds, fruit, vegetables, mealworms and multivitamins.
Squirrel monkeys can live up to 20 years and are currently not endangered in the wild, their main predators being raptors, snakes and cats. They produce one baby a year which can be seen riding round on its mother’s back until they are almost the same size. They communicate by voice with a range of 25 to 30 different calls or by scent.
The squirrel monkey has white markings on its face, neck and ears, but a black muzzle and chin. In some languages, it’s referred to as the “death’s head” monkey because of its resemblance to a skull.