BECOMING A PRIMATE PRO... SORT OF
10 OF THE MOST WELL-KNOWN PRIMATE SPECIES
#5 GUIANAN SQUIRREL MONKEY
Also known as COMMON SQUIRREL MONKEYS
Common names are not officially defined. They are based on everyday conversational language and may differ by country, region, profession, community, or other factors. As a result, it is not unusual for a species to have more than one common name.
Scientific names are in Latin and they are written in italics. They are standardized and for everyone, no matter what language you may speak. They are bound by a formal naming system, called binominal nomenclature, that has strict rules. Scientific names prevent misidentification. Those names only change if a species, or its genus, is officially redesignated by experts.
Guianan squirrel monkeys are endemic to the tropical forests of French Guiana, Guyana, Suriname, and Brazil. They occupy many forest types, generally preferring primary and secondary forests. They may venture to the forest floor or explore the upper reaches of the canopy, but they spend most of their time in the rainforest’s food-rich and well-protected middle canopy.
- Squirrel monkeys are the smallest of the Cebidea family of monkeys
- What they lack in size, they make up for in numbers; because they are small, they live and feed in large groups of up to 300 individuals. There’s safety in numbers
- When predators approach, the entire group jumps into action and fights back
Squirrel monkeys are threatened by habitat loss due to high levels of deforestation. They are also trapped for the illegal pet trade and medical research.
- Although small and cute, squirrel monkeys are meant to live in large groups of their own species.
- To become pets, squirrel monkeys are stolen from their mothers as babies. As a result, they do not develop normally emotionally.
- Monkeys are never domesticated. They always remain wild.
- Caged monkeys are very unhappy and frustrated. They are likely to resist confinement. They are quick and cause damaging bites and scratches.
- Many locations have strict regulations that prohibit trading in or keeping monkeys are pets.
- Squirrel monkeys belong with other squirrel monkeys in Central and South America. They and their habitats must be protected, not exploited.