A fine art photograph of a Mandrill from Gabon

A Mandrill from Gabon

"No other member in the whole class of mammals is coloured in so extraordinary a manner as the adult male mandrill."

- Charles Darwin

Mandrills are the largest of the monkeys and their bright colors make them easy to identify. They sport a bright blue and red elongated, ridged, muzzle surrounded by a yellow or orange beard. They have brightly hued rumps as well. They are just as distinctive from the rear as from the front The bright colors tend to get even brighter when the animal becomes excited. The bottom colors can vary widely including neon bright red, pink, scarlet, purple and blue. The males are larger and more colorful than the females.

They live only in the rain forests of west central Africa. They can be found in Gabon, Central African Republic, South Cameroon, Guinea, and the Congo. These are large animals weighing up to 50 kg. Mandrills are terrestrial omnivores that use a different tree every night for sleeping. They forage on the ground for fruit, leaves, nuts, stems, bark, fibers, tubers, mushrooms, beetles, termites, crickets, ants, spiders, snails, scorpions, eggs, birds, tortoises, worms, frogs, rats, porcupines, shrews and other small mammals.

Mandrills are a "vulnerable" species. They have been known to travel in large hordes of more than one thousand. Mandrills are large and tasty. They are much preferred over insipid cow meat by the locals.

© Copyright 2010-2011 Charles Fritsch, Cynthia Walpole.

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