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Capuchins

Physical Characteristics, Social Behavior

Capuchins are New World monkeys characterized by a cap or crown patch of hair that resembles a hood, called a capuche, worn by Franciscan monks. Capuchins belong to the family Cebidae, which includes 31 species in 11 genera. The Cebidae is subdivided into seven subfamilies which include night monkeys, squirrel monkeys, titis, sakis, howlers, spider monkeys, and the capuchins.

Monkeys in the family Cebidae are thin animals with long legs and a prehensile tail, which is muscular and can be used to help the animal in climbing and swinging through trees. Most of these New World monkeys, including capuchins, are active during the day and sleep at night. Capuchins are medium-sized animals with a body and legs that are evenly proportioned, and have fingers and toes with nails. The nostrils of New World monkeys are round and set far apart while those of the Old World monkeys are set close together.


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