White-headed capuchin

The white-headed capuchin (Cebus capucinus), also known as the white-faced capuchin or white-throated capuchin, is a medium-sized New World monkey of the family Cebidae, subfamily Cebinae. Native to the forests of Central America and the extreme north-western portion of South America, the white-headed capuchin is important to rainforest ecology for its role in dispersing seeds and pollen. Among the best known monkeys, the white-headed capuchin is recognized as the typical companion to the organ grinder. In recent years the species has become popular in North American media. It is a highly intelligent monkey and has been trained to assist paraplegic persons. It is a medium-sized monkey, weighing up to 3.9 kg (8.6 lb). It is mostly black, but with a pink face and white on much of the front part of the body, giving it its common name. It has a distinctive prehensile tail that is often carried coiled up and is used to help support the monkey when it is feeding beneath a branch. In the wild, the white-headed capuchin is versatile, living in many different types of forest, and eating many different types of food, including fruit, other plant material, invertebrates, and small vertebrates. It lives in troops that can exceed 20 animals and include both males and females. It is noted for its tool use, including rubbing pl

nts over its fur in an apparent use of herbal medicine, and also using tools as weapons and for getting to food. It is a long-lived monkey, with a maximum recorded age of over 54 years. The white-headed capuchin was one of the many species originally described by Linnaeus in his 18th century work, Systema Naturae. It is a member of the family Cebidae, the family of New World monkeys containing capuchin monkeys, squirrel monkeys, tamarins and marmosets. It is the type species for the genus Cebus, the genus that includes all the capuchin monkeys. It is a member of the C. capucinus species group within the genus Cebus, a group that also includes the white-fronted capuchin, the weeper capuchin and the Kaapori capuchin. There is disagreement among primatologists about whether there are any subspecies of white-headed capuchin. Some authorities consider there to be three subspecies of white-headed capuchin, based on small differences in appearance: C. c. capucinus, from the southern part of the range in Ecuador, Colombia and eastern Panama C. c. imitator, from most of Nicaragua, Costa Rica and western Panama C. c. limitaneus, from Honduras and northern Nicaragua However, other authorities do not recognize any separate subspecies, and regard C. c. imitator and C. c. limitaneus as synonyms of C. capucinus.