WEEPER CAPUCHIN – Cebus olivaceus


Weeper capuchin facts: Weeper capuchins weigh 5.3 to 6.6 pounds (2.4 to 3 kilograms), males being larger than females. They measure about 20 inches (55 centimeters) with a tail that is just as long. They have an orange-brown body and yellowish shoulders and upper arms. A wedge-shaped, dark brown coloration extends from the forehead to the back of the head. The long, brown tail tipped with black is semiprehensile, so it can wrap around a branch.

Geographic range: Weeper capuchins are found in Brazil, French Guiana, Guyana, Suriname, and Venezuela.

Weeper capuchin habitat: Weeper capuchins inhabit the middle and lower layers of evergreen rainforests. They also live in dry forests, mountain forests, gallery forests (woods along streams and rivers), and shrub woodlands.

What does weeper capuchin eat: Weeper capuchins eat fruits, buds, shoots, and roots of small trees. They also feed on insects, snails, and birds.

Behavior and reproduction: Weeper capuchins form groups of eight to fifty individuals, ruled by a dominant male. They are arboreal and forage during the day. They take breaks to groom each other’s fur, removing parasites and dirt. Capuchins claim territory by urine washing. They soak their hands with urine, which they rub on their fur and feet, leaving the scent throughout their forest routes. They show aggression by shaking branches and bouncing up and down. They have about a dozen vocalizations, one of which is a sad sound that earned them the name “weeper.”

All receptive females mate with the dominant male at a given time. Females have single births. The newborn is able to cling to its mother’s fur right away. The father does not take care of the young but may find food for the mother. Females stay with the group, but males leave home as early as two years of age.

Weeper capuchins and people: Weeper capuchins are hunted for food in some areas. They are also used in medical research.

Conservation status: Weeper capuchins are not considered a threatened species.