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|Common Name:||Yellow-breasted capuchin||Family:||Cerbidae|
|Latin Name:||Cebus apella xanthosternos||Diet:||Omnivore|
|Native To:||South America||Social Unit:||Group|
|IUCN Red List Status:||Endangered|
Yellow-breasted capuchins at Edinburgh Zoo
Yellow-breasted capuchins have a very varied diet including fruit, seeds, nectar, eggs, shellfish, and even bats! While we don’t feed our group here at the Zoo bats, they do get a wide variety of natural foods including fruit and vegetables, nuts and seeds, and live insects, which they especially enjoy.
Feeding them a wide and varied diet is all part of the enrichment we provide for these very intelligent primates. Due to their inquisitive and dynamic nature, we give them lots of enrichment at Edinburgh Zoo. You can often see them in their enclosure figuring out puzzles to get at food or cracking nuts open with stones used as tools.
Yellow-breasted capuchins are one of the few species of animals that use objects as tools and even use plants to their advantage. If you are lucky, you may see them rubbing onions on their hair to act as an insect repellent!
Here at Edinburgh Zoo, we have several yellow-breasted capuchins. Our mature male is called Little Man. Little Man came to us in 2009 from Colchester Zoo. We also have two adult females; Giselle, who came to us from a zoo in Germany in 2007, and another female that came to us in 2009 from Vallee des Singes in France. Last but not least, we have the youngsters: Enrique, a male born in 2008, Samba, a male born in 2007, Pele, a male born in 2005, Ronaldo, a male born in 2001, and Ronaldinha, a female born in 2003.
Where it can be found at Edinburgh Zoo
Yellow-breasted capuchins in the wild
Yellow-breasted capuchins (Cebus apella xanthosternos) are highly social and intelligent. They are restricted to the very fragmented Atlantic rainforest in Brazil. They are mostly brown and black in colour; however, from their upper arms and down across the chest and stomach they are covered in golden yellow fur—hence their name.
Although similar in appearance, males of this species are larger than females. Yellow-breasted capuchins live in groups of up to thirty individuals made up of both males and females. Spending the majority of their time in the trees, these capuchins stay in touch by communicating vocally with each other using barks, growls, screams, whistles and chattering.
Yellow breasted capuchins have a mixed diet of chicks, eggs, flowers, fruit, insects, leaves, nectar, nuts, seeds, shoots, and spiders. To break the shells of nuts, they will smash two together or strike them against branches.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has listed the yellow-breasted capuchin as Critically Endangered in the wild, meaning that the species is facing an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild. Yellow-breasted capuchins have lost over 80 percent of their population over the past 48 years. It is estimated that only about 300 individuals survive in the wild, giving the yellow-breasted capuchin an unenviable place in the top 25 most endangered primates in the world. This is due to being hunted by humans as well as extensive habitat loss throughout its range.
Breeding programme category: EEP
IUCN Red List category: Critically Endangered
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