Don’t let those teeth fool you

Mandrills are the largest monkey species and are considered Old World monkeys. Males are twice the size of females with vibrantly-coloured red and blue noses, yellow beards, pink rumps and bright red genitals that contrast with their olive-green/grey fur.  They have enormous canine teeth that they flash regularly, but surprisingly this is a calming signal, not a threat.

Conservation Status

Source: IUCN

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In spite of their dramatic appearance, mandrills are generally quiet and reserved, spending much of their day searching for food.

Important Facts

Here's where we call home (Africa)

Mandrills make their homes in the rainforest understory where their olive-green/grey colouration allows them to blend into the thick vegetation. While there’s still a lot to learn about their lives and behaviours, studies indicate that the largest males with the brightest coloured faces and rumps may gain leadership of harems. It’s also believed that bright colors may help mandrills recognize each other in the low light of the forest floor.

At a Glance

Scientific Name

Mandrillus sphinx

Weight

12 to 25 kg (26 to 55 lb)

Height

32 to 60 cm (28 to 40 in)

Conservation Status

Vulnerable

Habitat

Thick rainforest of West Central Africa.

Diet

Mandrills feed on fruit in trees as well as fallen fruit. They’re opportunistic feeders consuming insects, roots, seeds, fungi and eggs they may find as they move along the forest floor. Males tend to forage primarily on the ground, while females and their young spend more time in the trees. Occasionally a horde (aka troop or harem) may work together to hunt small antelope.