Elvis Is Alive And Kicking!

9th June 2010

When we are young, we have no tuft, but as juveniles, we grow two little tufts that look a bit like devil’s horns (totally appropriate for our behaviour at that age). When we are fully mature, our tufts turn into large ridges and sometimes we end up with us having hairstyles like Elvis Presley, Bob Marley or perhaps even that uncle of yours! Other than that our overall body colour varies from light to dark brown, with our shoulders usually being somewhat lighter. Our tails are semi-prehensile tail (i.e. they can be used to grip things, but not as well as spider monkeys), and the tip of our tail, is usually black, and can operate like human’s hand or foot.


Like other capuchins I am very clever at finding food, both in the trees and whilst foraging on the ground or on clearings. I even use stones to break objects, with a hard surface such as an egg. This basically means that I know how to use (and choose) tools, which is a very important.


In the wild groups of capuchins may fight over food, but at Monkeyland we have an abundance of food, so there is no need for aggression. 


Capuchins, like me, have a habit called “urine-washing”, which means that we urinate on our hands and feet and then proceed to rub this urine all over ourselves and our territories (capuchin pet owners are particularly appreciative of this instinct where sofas and kitchen surfaces are concerned). Females then sniff at us males to figure out whether we are sexually mature. Now, this is where I am scoring big at the moment, cause my scent is seriously pungent. No female is able to resist me!


Female capuchins work quite hard to attract the attention of their choice mate, sometimes they run after their chosen male with their tail curled coyly between their legs whilst grinning and whining hilariously. Meanwhile, the male capuchins (me included) play hard to get and only copulates once a day (to much effort and energy spent otherwise). During sex we mount females from behind. After a pairing, we guard the female from other males for several days. One simply has to be protective of your female lover these days.


I spoke to Christian (our Monkeyland 'monkey dad') and he promised to start a male seeks female companion (and visa versa) page on our website for all primates.  And since I AM a primate and YOU ARE a primate I am inviting you to email Chris at curator@monkeyland.co.za .  The site should be live by September, but we’ll need your info to post online, so email today!