LONDON, UK — Regent’s Zoo in London has shared an amusing video of squirrel monkeys catching snowballs thrown by their keepers.

The video which was posted on their Facebook page on Feb 8 shows the monkeys playing in the snow. The two monkeys and Agnes and Pip, who were born last year, were experiencing snow for the first when they were filmed.

“It was another snow day, and our squirrel monkeys played a fun game catching snowballs thrown by their keepers,” Zoological Society of London Zoo wrote in their post.

The zoo currently has 19 Black-capped or Bolivian squirrel monkeys in the troop, originating from South America.

Trying their best to overcome the pandemic, the vets and zookeepers worked hard to ensure the 18,000 animals at the world-famous zoo were kept safe and happy.

The fur of the squirrel monkey species is short and close, colored olive at the shoulders and yellowish orange on its back and extremities. These monkeys are considered nervous primates but are very social and even establish dominant hierarchies.

“Black-capped squirrel monkeys participate in high levels of social play,” as per the New England Primate Conservancy. “In fact, they may participate in this behavior more so than other squirrel monkey species. Social play can vary by environment type. In some environments, young squirrel monkeys play up to three hours a day. In other cases, groups exhibit limited social play.”

New England Primate Conservancy said the diet of black-capped squirrel monkeys plays various important roles in the ecosystem. By consuming fruit, they act as agents for seed dispersal throughout the forest. They also consume insects, which keeps the insect population under control.

Their throat and ears are white and their mouths are black. German’s call this species, “skull monkeys” because of their black and white facial appearance.

Squirrel monkeys grow to 25 to 35 cm, plus 35 to 42 cm tall, and weigh from 750 to 1100g.

The black-capped species of squirrel monkeys live in groups with multiple male members. If the group is larger it may be multi-male/multi-female.

Extraordinarily, the squirrel monkeys have the largest brain, proportionately, of all the primates, with a brain mass to body mass ratio of 1 to 17.

They live together in multi-male or female groups with up to 500 members, although these large groups can, however, occasionally break into smaller troops.

They have a variety of vocal calls, such as warning sounds used to protect themselves from natural predators such as falcons.

Their nutrition consists mainly of insects, as well as fruit and seeds and squirrel monkeys can be found living in rainforests of the upper Amazon in Peru, Brazil, and Bolivia, where they spend most of their time in the canopy, and periodically scavenging on the forest floor.

(Edited by Ojaswin Kathuria and Vaibhav Vishwanath Pawar.)



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