Habitat: Tropical rainforests, mountainous forests and thick bush
Range: Western equatorial Africa
Next time you visit the World of Primates, be sure to visit the exhibit’s new colorful monkey, J.J. the mandrill. The largest of all the monkey species, the mandrill’s body is built for the ground and the trees above. Its rotating joints allow it to climb trees in search of a resting spot and walk on the ground when scavenging for food. The mandrill's extremely long canine teeth help it to rip apart food, including fruit, seeds, insects, lizards and occassionally snakes or small vertebrates. The monkey may show its canines to intimidate a potential aggressor, but usually the baring of teeth is exchanged as a friendly gesture between mandrills. Most known for its vivid coloring, the mandrill has a red and blue muzzle and a bluish-purple rump. The coloring is more pronounced in males than in females and juveniles. While many animals do not have color vision, primates are an exception. The mandrill’s bright coloration makes it easier for the monkey to locate other members of its species. In fact, when mandrills become excited, the coloring on their bodies becomes even brighter.