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Rainforest Monkeys

Information about Rainforest Animals, Environment and Earth Science in Costa Rica


Whiteface Monkey Costa Rica
Whiteface Monkey
(Cebus capucinus)


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Costa Rica's Monkey Species

There are four species of monkeys in Costa Rica, all of which are descendants of Asian and African monkeys that evolved into the New World monkeys about 40 million years ago.

The capuchin or cebus monkey is probably the smartest primate in the region and it eats a varied and nutritious diet - insects, lizards, eggs and even some mollusks that it splits open against rocks. The cebus monkey's habitat is ample, since they live in rainy lowlands as well as in dry forests. Two main places for spotting them are the Santa Rosa and Manuel Antonio national parks.   § continued below ...

The spider monkey has a copper or orange fur and it's one of nature's most impressive acrobats, swinging back and forth from branches with the help of its long tail. They are very social at night, when they sleep in groups in order to feel protected, but they are pretty solitary during the day. Unfortunately, the spider monkey has suffered significantly from deforestation and human invasion and its population has decreased.

Squirrel monkeys, or "titi" are the smallest of the Costa Rican monkeys and they are so sociable and friendly that they even forage with groups of capuchin monkeys. They inhabit the Southern Pacific lowlands.

Monkeys of Costa Rica

                              geoffroyi Spider Monkey
Spider Monkey

Costa Rica Mono Titi
Squirrel Monkey (mono titi)

Last but not least, the biggest primate in Costa Rica is the howler monkey, local name of Mono Congo. It also happens to be the loudest one! This monkey is properly named, since it makes extremely loud howling noises similar to lion roars. They howl at certain hours of the day and whenever they want to inspire some respect. They can weigh up to 12 pounds, and their diet is mostly fruit and leaves. §

Rainforest Animal Fun Facts

Howler Monkey - Mono Congo

How do howler monkeys defend their territory?

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