The mandrill (Mandrillus sphinx) is a large Old World monkey native to west-central Africa. It is one of the most colorful mammals in the world, with red and blue skin on its face and posterior. The species is sexually dimorphic, as males have a larger body, longer canine teeth and brighter coloring. Its closest living relative is the drill with which it shares the genus name Mandrillus. Both species were traditionally thought to be baboons, but further evidence has shown that they are more closely related to white-eyelid mangabeys.

Mandrills mainly live in tropical rainforests but will also travel across savannas. They are active during the day and spend most of their time on the ground. Their preferred foods are fruit and seeds, but mandrills will consume leaves, piths, mushrooms, and animals from insects to juvenile antelope. Mandrills live in large, stable groups known as “hordes” which can number in the hundreds. Females form the core of these groups, while adult males are solitary and only reunite with the larger groups during the breeding season. Dominant males have more vibrant colors and fatter flanks and rumps, and have more success siring young.

The mandrill lives in west-central Africa, including southern Cameroon, mainland Equatorial Guinea (Río Muni), Gabon and parts of the Republic of the Congo. Its range is bounded by the Sanaga River to the north and the Ogooué and Ivindo Rivers to the east. It does not appear to share habitat with the drill, as the two species are separated by the Sanaga River. Mandrills live in tropical rainforests, generally preferring primary forests over secondary forests. They may live in gallery forests surrounded by savanna and travel across grass areas within their forest habitats. They have also been recorded in mountainous areas, near rivers and in cultivated fields.

The mandrill is an omnivore. The core of its diet consists of plants, of which it eats over a hundred species. One study found the mandrill’s diet was composed of fruit (50.7%), seeds (26.0%), leaves (8.2%), pith (6.8%), flowers (2.7%), and animal matter (4.1%), with other foods making up the remaining 1.4%. During the wet season, mandrills forage in continuous forest, when fruit is most available, while during the dry season they feed in gallery forests and between savannas and forests.

Mandrills are mostly diurnal and are awake around 10 hours per day from morning to dusk. They often pick a new tree to sleep in every night. Mandrills have been observed using tools; in captivity, they used sticks to clean themselves. In the wild, mandrills appear to live 12–14 years, but captive individuals can live 30–40 years.

Picture Credit : Google 

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