In The Wild
White-faced saki monkeys (Pithecia pithecia) are given that name because the males have a white ring around their faces, while the females do not. The males have a black body while the females have a grizzled brown colour with slight white streaks on the side of the nose. They are found in the rainforest of the Amazon Basin, and live in evergreen, coastal, secondary, and gallery forests. They are rarely found in flooded forest. White-faced saki monkeys spend most of the time in the trees, rarely going down to the ground, but they have occasionally been found on the ground or on new-growth trees.
White-faced sakis use the lower levels of the trees because of the competition with food with bearded sakis. White-faced saki monkeys have long fingers and long nails, which make gripping branches and moving around in the trees easier. They prefer to move around in the trees on solid branches in the lower to middle-canopy levels.
Their wild diet is made up of fruit, seeds and flowers. It also occasionally includes animal prey, such as small birds and bats.
White-faced saki monkeys have special canine teeth, which enable them to crack large nuts that other monkeys would leave alone. They also eat termite nests, which are high in iron. When sakis need to drink, they will go to a hollow or hole in the tree where water has gathered and put their hands in, then lick the water droplets off the hand.
White-faced saki monkeys have an aggressive display. This can start off with a growl, then they will start shaking their body with an arched body posture and a growl. If that doesn’t work, then they start to shake branches using their whole body.