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Common Name: Central American Squirrel Monkey
Scientific Name: Saimiri oerstedii

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Primates
Family: Cebidae
Genius: Saimiri
Species: S. oerstedii


The Central American squirrel monkey is a very small, unique, and extraordinary animal. You may think that it’s just a regular monkey but its not, it has many different characteristics and other things that make it so unique and different from other monkeys.

It is a very colorful animal. It has a white and black face its back is orange, so are its hands and feet, there is black around their mouth, their nose is all black and the tip of their tail is also black, the shoulders are olive colored ,their hips, the rest of their tail and the underside if them is white. They are also small and only weight about three or four pounds.

The monkey is known to live in and around Costa Rica and Panama, but it only lives near the central pacific part of Costa Rica and the north western part of Panama; they are very hard to find in the wild, they now mostly live in Manuel Antonio National Park and Corcovado National Park because they are threatened. If they are not in captivity, they live in low land forests, but it can’t live in any other forests because it wouldn’t survive in tall fully grown ones. There was not very much information on the population the only information was that their population was reduced from about two-hundred thousand in nineteen-seventy to less than five thousand.

The squirrel monkey is omnivorous. It eats insects and there larvae, such as grasshoppers and caterpillars, it also eats  spiders, fruit, leaves , bark, flowers , nectar, and small vertebrates such as bats , birds, lizards, and tree frogs. It finds food in the lower and middle levels of the forest. Between fifteen and thirty feet high it is also an important seed dispenser and pollinator of certain flower such as the passion flower. Other things that it eats are corn, coffee, bananas, mangos, figs, palms, and wild cashew fruits. But its also has predators. One of them is different kinds of birds of prey, big cats, and constricting and venomous snakes, and when it feels threatened it lets out a high-pitched alarm sounding peep and dives for cover.

So as you can see the Central American Squirrel monkey is a very interesting animal, for example their brain is the largest of all primates there size and it makes up four percent of their body weight. And they don’t use their tail for swinging they use it for balancing on tree limbs .They were also thought to be extinct till a small population of them was discovered in Panama in nineteen-nineteen six. And that is all the information on the Saimiri oerstedii or the Central American Squirrel monkey.

Author: Haylie B.
Published: 12/2012


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