Species: M. sphinx
Common Names: Mandrill, Tufted Ape, Great Baboon
Mandrills are found in tropical rainforests in western central Africa, and are occasionally found in mountainous regions. They eat both meat and plants, with a diet that includes a wide variety of plant species, as well as insects, spiders, snails and scorpions.
Mandrills travel in large groups known as hordes. There can be over 800 mandrills in a single horde.
The most successful male mandrills, called alphas, will mate with the most females. They can be distinguished from other males by having the brightest coloration on their hairless areas.
Mating usually occurs in the dry season. Mandrill pregnancy lasts 175 days on average. Young are born during the wet season. Infant mandrills will ride along with their mother by grabbing onto her underside.
The mandrill is the largest living monkey. Some apes are larger, but the mandrill is the largest primate with a tail. The Chacma baboon can be larger by length, but the mandrill is much heavier.
Mandrills are heavily built, muscular primates with short tails and large heads. Their fur is brownish with a lighter yellow beard. Males are much larger than females, and have a yellowish band of fur around their neck.
The face of male mandrills are very distinctive. The bridge of the nose and the snout are a bright red, with ridged bare blue skin on either side. The backside of the male is also hairless and quite colorful, featuring pink, red, blue, and purple.
Males average about 65 pounds, but can weigh over 100 pounds. Females are lighter, with an average weight of around 25 pounds.
The name “mandrill” is a combination of the English word “man” and the West African word for baboon, “drill”. A related species of monkey is commonly known as the drill. It resembles the mandrill but lacks the monkey’s bright facial skin coloration. Both the drill and the mandrill were once believed to be most closely related to baboons, and were previously placed in the genus Papio with other baboons, before being classified in a separate genus, Mandrillus. However, more recent research indicates they are more closely related to the white-eyelid mangabeys (genus Cercocebus).