Brown Capuchin Monkey

Cebus apella


  • Domain Eukarya - This domain includes unicellular & multicellular organisms. Most organisms in this domain have eukaryotic cells. Their cell division is by mitosis. They have a variety of cycles, reproduction, & recombination. Each organism has a nucleus surrounded by membranes.

  • Kingdom Animalia - The organisms in this kingdom are also called Metazoans. They have bilateral symmetry. This kingdom doesn't contain prokaryotes or protists. The organisms digest & ingest their food in an internal cavity. These organisms are also heterotrophs. All organisms in this kingdom are multicellular.

  • Phylum Chordata - All organisms in this phylum have bilateral symmetry. They have 3 germ layers and a well-developed coelom, which is the body cavity in metazoans located between the intestinal canal and the body wall. They have a tail projecting out of the anus at some point in there lifetime. Every organism in this phylum has a complete digestive system. Their bony endoskeleton is usually present.

  • Sub-Phylum Vertebrata - The organisms' movements are provided by muscles attached to endoskeleton. Their digestive systems have large digestive glands, liver, and pancreas. They have well developed cavities which contain visceral systems. They have bony endoskeletons consist of cranium, visceral arches, limb girdles, & 2 pairs of appendages. Their ventral hearts have 2-4 chambers.

  • Class Mammalia - All mammals have hair at some point in their lives have hair. Their slow exchange of the heat with their environment is called insulation. Their teeth are replaced only once during their lifetime. Mammals have hair made of a protein named keratin that serves at least 4 functions. They are typically characterized by their highly differentiated teeth.

  • Order Primates - Primates live in arboreal (living in trees) habitats. They have 3D-like vision. Each of them have a relatively large brain-case. Each of them have an capable of moving big toe & thumb. They all have a shortened beak-like projection and forwardly directed sphere.

  • Family Cebidae - Cebids have round heads with large, forward facing eyes. They also have relatively short muzzles. They are covered in fur, including their tails. Cebids have long fingers with flattened or curved nails. The males possess bacula.

  • Genus Cebus - This genus only contains Capuchin monkeys.

  • Species - Cebus Apella

General Description

  • Weight - On average, brown Capuchins weigh 1,300 to 4,800 grams.

  • Length - Brown Capuchins reach from 12 to 22 inches in length.

  • Color - Brown Capuchins vary in color from light brown to mustard yellow to black. Their shoulders and underbelly are lighter in color than the rest of the body. There is a patch of coarse black fur on the crown of the head.

  • Natural Range - Brown Capuchins are found east of the Andes from Colombia and Venezuela to Paraguay and northern Argentina.

  • Diet - Fruits are a large part of brown Capuchin monkey's diet. Vegetation, seeds, pith, eggs, insects, reptiles, birds, and small mammals are also included in their diet. During the dry season, when food is very hard to find, Scheelea palm leaf-like soft tissue is critical to this animal's survival. Foraging is a noisy and destructive activity where brown Capuchins move from tree to tree, ripping apart vegetation and cracking open nuts against branches.

  • Habitat - Brown Capuchins live in moist subtropical or tropical forests, but has also been seen in dry forest, gallery forest, disturbed and secondary forest. In northwest Argentina these monkeys live in montane forests at an elevation of 200 to 1100m. This species prefers the under-story and mid-canopy of the forest, but often descends from the trees to forage and play.

  • Predation - The main predators of brown Capuchins are hawks & eagles. The dominant male protects his group from predators by sounding alarm calls. This draws attention to himself so that his group can escape. Members of a group give sharp whistling calls at the sight of hawks and eagles to alert the group.

Physical Adaptations

Capuchin monkeys have long and prehensile tails which helps it to swing from trees and steady themselves. Their dark colored bodies help them to blend in. They have deep and large jaws helps it to chew things larger than itself. This species is robust which means that it is strong and this helps with climbing also. The stockiness of this monkey--this means that it is broad and sturdily built--helps steady out its body form.

Behavioral Adaptations

The Brown Capuchin monkey uses insight to work out their problems instead of trial-and-error attempts at a solution. Capuchins in captivity use sticks to draw food towards bars of cages. They are able to get food out of reach by moving a box under it and climbing up. Brown Capuchins in their groups protect each other from predators and other groups of monkeys, this gives them more safety. Home ranges may overlap by 40% and different groups feed each other without active hostility or opposition, this makes things easier for Capuchins to get their food.


Anderson, R. 2003. "Cebus apella" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 06, 2015 at

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