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Home | Animals | Mammals | Primates | New World Monkeys | White Faced Capuchin


White Faced Capuchin 


Scientific classification
Species:C. capucinus
Binomial name
Cebus capucinus
(Linnaeus, 1758)


Like other monkeys in the genus Cebus, the White-headed Capuchin is named after the order of Capuchin friars – the cowls worn by these friars closely resemble the monkey's head coloration. The White-headed Capuchin has mostly black fur, with white to yellowish fur on the neck, throat, chest, shoulders, and upper arms. The face is pink. A V-shaped area of black fur on the crown of the head is distinctive. It has a prehensile tail that is often held coiled, giving the White-headed Capuchin the nickname "ringtail".

Adults reach a length of between 335 and 453 mm (13.2 and 17.8 in), excluding tail, and a weight of up to 3.9 kg (8.6 lb). The tail is longer than the body, at up to 551 mm (21.7 in) in length. Males are about 27% larger than females.The brain of a White-headed Capuchin is about 79.2 g (2.79 oz), which is larger than that of several larger monkey species, such as the Mantled Howler.


It is found in many different types of forest, including mature and secondary forests, and including evergreen and deciduous forests, dry and moist forests, and mangrove and montane forests. However, it appears to prefer primary or advanced secondary forests. Also, higher densities of White-headed Capuchins are found in older areas of forest and in areas containing evergreen forest, as well as areas with more water availability during the dry season.

Tool Usage 

The White-headed Capuchin also uses tools in other ways. It has been known to beat snakes with sticks in order to protect itself or to get the snake to release an infant. In captivity, it has been known to use tools to get to food or to defend itself, and in one case a White-headed Capuchin used a squirrel monkey as a projectile, hurling it at a human observer. Some populations also use trees or other hard surfaces as anvils in order to crack mollusks, and it sometimes uses sticks as probes to explore openings.

The White-headed Capuchins intelligence and ability to use tools allows them to be trained to assist paraplegics. Other species of capuchin monkeys are also trained in this manner. White-headed Capuchins can also be trained for roles on television and movies, such as Marcel on the television series Friends. They were also traditionally used as organ grinder monkeys.


 Native to the forests of Central America and the extreme north-western portion of South America

 Fun Facts

Capuchins are considered among the most intelligent of the New World monkeys

- The White-headed Capuchin is regarded as "least concern"
- Its main predator is the Harpy Eagle

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