15+ Interesting Facts About Mandrills

  1. Mandrills are large and colorful Old World monkeys. Their range is limited to the rainforests of Equatorial Africa in Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon, and the Republic of Congo.
  2. Mandrills are the largest among monkeys. Male mandrills can attain a weight and body length of up to 54 kg (119 lb.) and 20 in. (50.8 cm). They are also one of the most colorful mammals due to their red face, blue rump, and yellow beard. (Source)
  3. The closest relatives of mandrills are drills. These two species are the only members of the genus Mandrillus.
  4. Mandrills are among the few mammals with blue skin, particularly on their rump. The arrangement of protein fibers makes their blue skin more vibrant on the rump, compared to the pale blue color on their face. (Source)
  5. A study proves the intelligent use of tools in mandrills. Scientists have found that these monkeys can make a bark narrow and use it to remove dirt underneath their toenails. (Source)
  6. Mandrills are among the few monkey species (baboons, macaques, etc.) with cheek pouches. They use these pouches to store food while in danger and consume it after reaching a safer place. 
    A baboon eating fruit
    Like baboons, mandrills also have cheek pouches

  7. Mandrills are omnivorous animals that eat fruits, seeds, leaves, insects, amphibians, and small reptiles. These semi-terrestrial primates spend most of the day foraging on the ground and sleeping on trees at night. They usually select different trees every night.
  8. There are several prominent differences between male and female mandrills. Males have more vibrant colors and are twice (or more) larger than females.
  9. Mandrills, particularly males, have long and strong canine teeth that they use for self-defense. However, exposing teeth to other mandrills is a friendly gesture.
  10. Mandrills are social animals that form groups (troops) of a dozen or more members. A dominant male mandrill leads this group, which includes females and young. Sometimes, several troops join to form large groups (hordes) containing hundreds of mandrills.
  11. Female mandrills in a group sometimes join together to fight an adult male. They can force an unwanted male to leave the group. (Source)
  12. Female mandrills usually give birth to a single baby every two years. The newborn has a pink face and develops its unique color after maturity. The young one remains with its mother until the birth of the next baby.
  13. The range of facial coloration in female mandrills is from bright pink to black. Unlike males, where facial color determines dominance rank, coloration in female mandrills primarily depends on their age and reproductive quality.
  14. Mandrills are amongst the few Old World monkeys that use scent markings for communication. Adult and adolescent males and females use sternal (chest) scent-marks. However, this behavior is more common in males, particularly alpha males. This scent contains information about their sex, age, and rank. (Source)
  15. IUCN listed mandrills as vulnerable in 1978. However, many ecologists believe that despite this, their population has decreased by 30% since 1978. Their biggest threats are habitat loss due to deforestation and hunting for bushmeat.
  16. Leopards are the primary predators of mandrills, while crowned eagles and snakes usually eat young primates.
  17. The average lifespan for mandrills is 20 years in the wild. They can live far longer (up to 40 years) in captivity.
  18. Mandrills groom each other to build relationships and keep the skin healthy. However, they avoid grooming those members infected with parasites. Mandrills know the presence of parasites in an infected monkey by sniffing its poop. (Source)


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