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Wild Things: Life as We Know It

Toucans, Orchids, Monkeys and more

Observed

Capuchin monkey
(Brandon C. Wheeler)
Name: The tufted capuchin monkey, (Cebus apella nigritus), a fruit-eating primate from South America.
Look Out: Capuchins, which live in groups of 7 to 30, peep and hiccup to alert group members to feline or serpentine predators.
Look Away: It's now known that capuchins issue false alarms, peeping or hiccuping in the absence of cats or snakes—but in the presence of food.
Look Again: The alarms scare other group members away from food sources, says Brandon Wheeler of Stony Brook University. If the calls are intentional, he says, they would be the first "tactical deceptions" seen in non-human primates.

Learn more about the tufted capuchins at the Encyclopedia of Life.

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