Other Free Encyclopedias » Animal Life Resource » Mammals » Old World Monkeys: Cercopithecidae - Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, Old World Monkeys And People, Conservation Status, Western Red Colobus (piliocolobus Badius): Species Accounts - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET

Old World Monkeys: Cercopithecidae - Mandrill (mandrillus Sphinx): Species Accounts

mandrills females males press

Physical characteristics: Mandrills have a grizzled brown coat and gray-white undersides. Males have the most striking coloration of all mammals. The large, bright red nose is enclosed by blue bony bulges. The whiskers are white and the beard is golden. A tuft of hair on top of the head and a mane over the shoulders can be erected for threat displays. The rump has shades of red, blue, and lilac, and is used as a signal when leading the group through the dense forest. Females have almost similar colorations, but are not as striking. They have black faces. The largest of the Old World monkeys, male mandrills weigh about 69.7 pounds (31.6 kilograms), more than twice as heavy as females, who weigh 28.4 pounds (12.9 kilograms). Males measure 27.5 inches (70 centimeters), with a tail length of 3 inches (8 centimeters). Females measure 22 inches (54.5 centimeter), with a tail length of 3 inches (7.5 centimeters).

Mandrills are the largest of the Old World monkeys. (© C. K. Lorenz/Photo Researchers, Inc. Reproduced by permission.)

Geographic range: Mandrills are found in Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, and Gabon.

Habitat: Mandrills occupy evergreen forests and forests along rivers and coasts.

Diet: Mandrills have a varied diet of fruits, seeds, grains, leaves, bark, mushrooms, tubers, snakes, and insects.

Behavior and reproduction: Although a typical mandrill family consists of a male and several females and their offspring, large groups with as many as 800 members have stayed together year after year, foraging for food, breeding, and fighting. A group having 1,350 individuals had been recorded. However, when not mating, males tend to be loners. Males prefer to forage on the ground, while females and the young climb trees. They may travel as much as 5 miles (8 kilometers) a day while feeding. All sleep in the trees. Mandrills communicate using grunts and crowing sounds. Adults have several partners, and females have single births. Young females stay with the group, but young males leave home, fighting fiercely during mating season, using their large, sharp canines.

Mandrills and people: Mandrills are hunted for meat.

Conservation status: The IUCN lists the mandrill as Vulnerable due to continued hunting, as well as habitat loss and degradation from agriculture, logging, and human settlements. ∎



Fleagle, John G. Primate Adaptation and Evolution, 2nd ed. San Diego, CA: Academic Press, 1999.

Kavanagh, Michael. A Complete Guide to Monkeys, Apes and Other Primates. New York: The Viking Press, 1983.

Napier, John R., and Prue H. Napier. The Natural History of the Primates. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 1986.

Nowak, Ronald M. Walker's Primates of the World. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999.

Preston-Mafham, Rod, and Ken Preston-Mafham. Primates of the World. New York: Facts on File, Inc., 1992.

Sterry, Paul. Monkeys & Apes: A Portrait of the Animal World. New York: Todtri Productions Limited, 1994.


Angier, Natalie. "In Mandrill Society, Life Is a Girl Thing." New York Times on the Web. http://www.nytimes.com/library/national/science/052300sci-animal-mandrill.html (accessed on July 6, 2004).

Ferrero, Jean-Paul. "Swingers of Borneo." International Wildlife (November/December 1999): 53–57.

Laman, Tim. "Borneo's Proboscis Monkeys Smell Trouble." National Geographic (August 2002): 100–117.

Web sites:

"Cercopithecids (Cercopithecidae)." Singapore Zoological Garden Docents. http://www.szgdocent.org/pp/p-cercop.htm (accessed on July 6, 2004).

[back] Old World Monkeys: Cercopithecidae - Rhesus Macaque (macaca Mulatta): Species Accounts

User Comments

Your email address will be altered so spam harvesting bots can't read it easily.
Hide my email completely instead?

Cancel or