Marcus, our Mandrill
The mandrill is the most colorful primate. It has an olive green or dark grey pelage with yellow and black bands and a white belly.
Its hairless face has an elongated muzzle with distinctive characteristics such as a red stripe down the middle and protruding blue ridges on the sides. It also has red nostrils and lips, a yellow beard and white tuffs.
The areas around the genitals and the anus are multi-colored, being colored red, pink, blue, scarlet, and purple. They also have pale pink ischial callosities.
The coloration of the animal is more pronounced in dominant adult males. Both sexes have chest glands which are used in olfactory communication. These, too, are more prominent in dominant adult males.
The male Mandrill is the heaviest monkey in the world, although its total length is relatively short due to its vestigial tail.
The mandrill is found in Nigeria, southern Cameroon, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, and Congo. Its distribution is bounded by the Sanaga River to the north and the Ogooué and White Rivers to the east.
Mandrills prefer to live in tropical rainforests and forest-savanna mosaics. They also live in gallery forests adjacent to savannas, as well as rocky forests, riparian forests, cultivated areas and flooded forests and stream beds. Mandrills will cross grass areas within their forest habitats.
Mandrills are mostly terrestrial but they are more arboreal than baboons and feed as high as the canopy. When on the ground, mandrills walk on the toes of all four limbs. When in the trees, they often move by lateral jumps.
The mandrill is an omnivore. It usually consumes plants, of which it eats over a hundred species. It prefers to eat fruits, but will also eat leaves, lianas, bark, stems, and fibers.
It also consumes mushrooms and soil. Carnivorously, mandrills mostly eat invertebrates, particularly ants, beetles, termites, crickets, spiders, snails, and scorpions. It will also eat eggs, and even vertebrates such as birds, tortoises, frogs, porcupines, rats, and shrews.
Mandrills likely will eat larger vertebrates when they have the opportunity, such as juvenile bay duikers and other small antelope. Large prey are likely killed with a bite to the nape with the mandrill’s long canines.
WHERE DO THEY LIVE?