These striking primates are the largest monkey in the world, they can be heard loudly grunting and screaming, and can also be found in very large groups.

The mandrill is well known for it's brightly coloured faces and bums! Male mandrills have a more strikingly colourful face than females, which becomes more vibrant when they are excited. The brighter the male's face and rump are, the more appealing they are to females, and the more dominant they are within their group.

The structure of a group of mandrills is made up of a mixture of males and females with one dominant male. There is normally around 40 mandrills in a group, which often join other groups to form troops of up to 600 monkeys.

Female mandrills are much smaller than the males who can grow up to twice the size of females. When a female is in season, her rump with swell and the colour will become a more intense red, which will indicate that she is ready for mating. When a female gives birth, she will carry her infant around, clinging to her front until it becomes too heavy and rides on her back.

Mandrills spend most of their time on the ground foraging for fruit, seeds and small mammals and reptiles. They have pouches in their cheeks which they use to store food for later. Although mandrills spend much time on the ground, they are excellent climbers and will sleep up in the trees, which offers them protection from predators as they snooze.

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Interesting facts

IUCN Status: Vulnerable

Where they live: Southern Cameroon, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, and the Congo.

Habitat: Rainforests and sub-tropical forests.

Size: Up to 80cm tall

Weight: from 11kg up to 36kg

Threats: Hunting for meat and logging to clear land for agriculture.

Scientific Name: Mandrillus sphinx