One of the smallest
Central American primates is the squirrel monkey, or titi monkey.
These agile little monkeys are active throughout much of the day,
scouring the forest for insects and fruits to eat. Squirrel monkeys
tend to live in large, fluid social groups generally ranging
anywhere from 30-70 individuals. However, it has even been reported
that squirrel monkeys may be found in groups of up to 300.
Unlike the other
primates of Costa Rica, the squirrel monkey lacks a prehensile
tail. Instead, the long tail of the squirrel monkey is used
strictly for balance. When feeding, it is not uncommon for a
squirrel monkey to be seen with their tail draped over their
shoulder to keep it out of the way. Because the squirrel monkey
rarely descends to the ground, any break in the forest -- such as
roads, powerlines, and farmlands -- can severely fragment a monkey
troop's habitat and threaten the survival of the troop itself.