capuchin(redirected from capuchin monkeys)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.
capuchin(kăp`yo͞ochĭn), name for New World monkeysmonkey,
any of a large and varied group of mammals of the primate order. The term monkey includes all primates that do not belong to the categories human, ape, or prosimian; however, monkeys do have certain common features.
..... Click the link for more information. of the genus Cebus, widely distributed in tropical forests of Central and South America. Medium-sized monkeys, they have a body length of 14 to 24 in. (36–61 cm), with a tail up to 20 in. (50 cm) long, and weigh 2 to 4 lb (0.9–1.8 kg). The coat is black or brown, with lighter markings on the chest in some species. The flattened face is naked and pink. Members of some species have manes resembling the cowls of capuchin monks. The tail is partially prehensile, that is, it can be used for grasping but not with the dexterity displayed by most New World monkeys. It is usually carried with the end curled in a spiral, hence the alternate name, ringtail monkey. Capuchins travel in groups through the trees, making loud sounds, and rarely descend to the ground. They feed on leaves, fruit, insects, small animals, and bird eggs. They are easily trained and are well known from circuses and as the classic organ-grinder's monkey. In the wild they use simple tools, such as rocks, for such tasks as cracking the hard shells of fruits. They are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
..... Click the link for more information. , subphylum Vertebrata, class Mammalia, order Primates, family Cebidae.
(Cebus), a genus of American prehensile-tailed monkey of the Cebidae family.
Capuchins have relatively large, round skulls, with a shortened facial section, moderately long limbs, and a well-developed thumb. The tail is long and covered with hair, and the final third is prehensile. Capuchins inhabit the lush tropical forests of Central and South America, living in trees, chiefly in groups of eight to 30 individuals. They feed on leaves, fruits, nuts, insects, bird eggs, and fledglings. There are several species. The white-throated capuchin (C. capucinus) has black fur on most of its body but yellowish-white fur on the forehead or throat and chest and shoulders, a body length of about 45 cm, and a tail of 40–50 cm. The brown capuchin (C. apella) has a black crest, a body length of 35–45 cm, and a tail of 38–48 cm. Capuchins are often kept in zoos, where they usually reproduce successfully.
REFERENCESWeber, M. Primaty. Moscow-Leningrad, 1936. (Translated from German.)
Zhizn’ zhivotnykh, vol. 6:Mlekopitaiushchie. Moscow, 1971.
M. F. NESTURKH