Mandrill | Facts, Diet, Habitat & Pictures

Mandrill | Facts, Diet, Habitat & Pictures

Mandrill Overview


Mandrills are large and colorful primates with striking features. They have distinctive, brightly-hued faces with hues of blue and red. The rest of mandrill's body is covered in olive-green or brownish fur.

Adult males have prominent, bright red noses. They possess a robust physique with strong limbs and a short tail. Mandrills are one of the most visually captivating primates, recognized for their unique facial coloration.

Origins And Evolution

Mandrills, scientifically known as Mandrillus sphinx, are Old World monkeys belonging to the family Cercopithecidae. They are closely related to baboons and share a common ancestry. Mandrills are native to the rainforests and dense woodlands of equatorial West Africa, including countries like Cameroon, Gabon, and the Republic of the Congo.

These primates have a long evolutionary history dating back millions of years, with their ancestors diverging from the ancestors of baboons. Mandrills are known for their distinctively colorful facial markings, which are thought to have evolved as signals for social communication within their complex troop structures.

They have adapted to life in the dense rainforests, where they forage for fruits, leaves, insects, and small vertebrates. Despite habitat threats, they remain a fascinating and important part of the African ecosystem.

Behavior and Lifestyle

Mandrills are highly social primates, living in complex hierarchical troops that can number in the hundreds. They have a matrilineal social structure, with dominant females leading the troop. Males display their dominance through physical posturing and vibrant facial coloration.

Their days are typically spent foraging for a variety of foods, including fruits, leaves, insects, and small vertebrates, primarily on the forest floor. They are diurnal animals, active during the day, and they often engage in grooming and social interactions to reinforce group bonds. These interactions include vocalizations and elaborate displays of their colorful faces and bodies.

Mandrill Scientific Classification

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Mammalia
  • Order: Primates
  • Family: Cercopithecidae
  • Subfamily: Cercopithecinae
  • Genus: Mandrillus
  • Species: Mandrillus sphinx


  • Equatorial West Africa
  • Cameroon
  • Gabon
  • Republic of the Congo
  • Nigeria

Fast Facts

  • Name: Mandrill Monkey
  • Scientific Name: Mandrillus sphinx
  • Habitat: Tropical forests
  • Diet: Fruits, insects
  • Physical Features: Colorful face
  • Nocturnal: Diurnal primarily
  • Solitary: Troop member
  • Unique Order: Primates
  • Lifespan: 20 years
  • Conservation Status: Vulnerable
  • Fun Facts: Bright rump, Social behavior

Physical Characteristics

  • Color: Vibrant hues
  • Skin Type: Bare face
  • Top Speed: 32 km/h
  • Lifespan: 20 years
  • Weight: Heavy build
  • Length: Medium-sized
  • Age of Sexual Maturity: 4 years
  • Age of Weaning: 1 year

Mandrill FAQs

What is a mandrill?

A mandrill is a species of Old World monkey known for its colorful face and prominent red nose in males.

Where do mandrills live?

Mandrills are native to equatorial West Africa, including countries like Cameroon, Gabon, and the Republic of the Congo.

Are mandrills endangered?

Yes, mandrills are considered Vulnerable due to habitat loss and hunting.

Why are Mandrills' faces so colorful?

The colorful facial markings are believed to play a role in social communication and signaling within their complex troop structures.

What do mandrills eat?

Mandrills are omnivores, consuming a diet that includes fruits, leaves, insects, and small vertebrates.


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