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COSTA RICA EXPEDITIONS
Photo by Mason Fischer Apr 2004
The White-faced Capuchin or Monkey (Cebus capucinus) is black except for white shoulders, chest and face, and weighs in at only 2.5-3.5 kg for the males, the females slightly smaller. The only species of the genus Cebus in Central America, this monkey is a diurnal primate, arboreal with a tail adapted for seizing and grasping. They inhabit forests on both the Caribbean coast and Pacific coast of Costa Rica, ranging up to an altitude of 1500m.
White-Faced Monkeys are omnivorous, as is the entire genus. Their diet consists primarily of fruits. Insects and green plant material make up the rest of their diet. The monkeys will pound hard fruits on rocks to get to the seeds and will chew fleshy fruit. They play an important part in seed dispersal and germination by defecating the seeds. Defecated seeds appear to have a 10% higher germination rate that uneaten seeds. The consequent pruning of the trees during the monkeys' foraging can result in greater fruit production but in some species of plants, the damage can be harmful. The same is true for some insects the monkeys consume, especially during the rainy season when larvae is plentiful. The monkey drinks water from water holes in trees and during the dry season can be seen drinking from springs.
Female monkeys give single births every 1-2 years. The young become locomotory independent by 5-6 months and reach sexual maturity by 3 years old. A group of monkeys or "troop" will have a range between .5 and 1.0 km2. Although some territorial competition occurs, the troops allow overlap of other troops. They are preyed on by large raptors, boa constrictors and humans. See Lodge information and prices.
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