Mandrill Monkey (Mandrillus sphinx)

Species:M. sphinx
mandrill monkey
Mandrill monkey

The mandrill is a large Old World monkey from west-central Africa. Its scientific name is Mandrillus sphinx. It has red and blue skin on its face and back, making it one of the most colorful animals in the world. The males of this species are bigger, have longer canine teeth, and have brighter coloring.

The drill is its closest living relative because it shares a lot with the genus Mandrillus. People used to think that both of these species were baboons, but new research shows something else. That is, these animals relate more to the white-eyelid mangabeys.

Mandrill Scientific Name

Mandrillus sphinx is the scientific name for the mandrill. It is named after a figure from ancient Greek mythology who had a person’s head and an animal’s body. This may be a reference to how strange it looks. The mandril is one of only two species in the genus that are still alive. The drill, or Mandrillus leucophaeus, is the other species that are still alive. Both species have similar habitats, social structures, and looks, but the drill is much less colorful than its more lively sibling.

The mandrill has a relationship with all Old World monkeys because it is in the family of Cercopithecidae. Old World monkeys only live in Africa and Asia, as the name suggests. This makes them different from the monkeys that live in the Americas and are called “New World monkeys.” The differences between them are small, but Old World monkeys have bigger noses and a tail that one cannot grasp.

Habits and Lifestyle

So, do you know what is a mandrill now? Mandrills are very social animals. They live in mixed groups of up to 40 animals, which then join together to form large troops of more than 600 animals. People in these groups live according to a clear social order. Each group is led by a large, colorful male who mates with receptive females and fathers most of the young in the group.

A single troop can take over up to 50 km2 of land. Mandrills are territorial animals, so each troop’s home range is marked by smell and fiercely defended against strangers. Most of the time, people in a group talk to each other by making loud, deep grunts. When they eat, they are known to make high-pitched crows.

When it’s time for the group to move on, the most powerful males make a two-phase grunting sound. Mandrills are diurnal, meaning they spend most of the day looking for food and the night in trees. Mandrills also spend a lot of their active time grooming. When they do this, they make sounds similar to those they make when mating. Mandrills let people know they want to play and be groomed by shaking their heads and shoulders.

How Does A Mandrill Look Like?

The mandrill baboon is a unique-looking animal with a long snout, a big brow, and a tail that is so short it is almost nonexistent. It also has a long, yellow beard and a stylish coat of dark green and grey fur with white hair tufts on its stomach. When the mandrill’s long, muscular legs, small body, and big head are all put together, it looks a little strange, like it was put together from different parts.

But the species actually has good skills and is flexible, and it can move and stand in a wide range of ways. The mandrill usually walks on all fours but can also sit or lie down on its thick back end. It also has thumbs and big toes that can move in different directions, so it can grab things and climb trees. Part of the animal’s life is spent in the air, jumping from branch to branch.

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What Does Mandrill Eat?


Mandrills are very good at finding food. They hunt both plants and small animals, like fungi, roots, seeds, fruit, insects, worms, amphibians, lizards, snakes, snails, eggs, and small mammals. Their diet niche is broad & can include up to a hundred different kinds of animals.

Both male and female mandrills hunt in different ways. Adult males tend to look for food on the ground, while females and young birds look for food in trees. The mandrills are important to the environment because they help spread seeds around the local forest.

Facts about mandrill

  • Mandrills are quick on the ground and in the trees. When walking on land, they use the knuckles on their front legs. When they are in trees, these primates move by taking sideways leaps.
  • Mandrills can see with both eyes because their eyes face forward.
  • Its common name, “man-ape,” comes from what it looks like.
  • Rafiki, the baboon, one of the main characters in Disney’s “The Lion King,” is a mandrill with a colorful face.
  • Male mandril is the biggest monkey that is still alive.
  • Each mandrill monkey has its own unique fingerprints we can use to find it.
  • Lopé National Park is where the largest group of these animals is present (Gabon). It has as many as 1300 animals in it, making it the largest group of non-human primates that we know of.
  • The way a mandrill acts in groups has a direct association with its pattern of colors. So, the primate gets a lot brighter overall when it is exciting. It has red spots on its wrists and ankles and a blue chest. Also, the blue pad on its buttocks gets brighter.
  • When angry, this animal will slap the ground very hard. Staring at someone while scratching their arm or thigh is another common thing to do.
  • The mandrill has another name, the “forest baboon.”

Mandrill Reproduction

Mandrill has a “harem,” a group of females that the dominant male controls and mates with. Mandrills have babies when there is enough food to go around, which is usually once every two years, from July to October. Six months pass during pregnancy. Most females have one child between December and April. Some females of this species have been known to have twins when they are kept as pets.

The mother feeds and takes care of the baby. While other females in the group, like aunts, sisters, and cousins, also help her. Mandrills wean between the ages of 6 and 12 months. After that, females stay with their birth group, but males have to move away at age six and live along the group’s edge. Females can have babies between the ages of 4 and 8, while males have to be nine.

Where do Mandrills Live

Mandrills mostly live in the forests of Western Africa, often near rivers, wetlands, or savannas. The animal lives mostly in the countries of Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Cameroon, and Congo. Even though this species is mostly made for life on the ground, they sleep together in the trees for safety and comfort at night. They tend to move from one tree to another every night within their range.

How Many Mandrills Are There?

These primates are in danger right now because logging is destroying their natural habitat. This makes it possible for mandrills to move to more remote areas, which makes them vulnerable to another serious threat: hunting. Bush meat is in high demand right now. It feeds the growing number of people in Africa and is also sold in Europe. Because of this, large-scale hunting is very bad for mandrills.

There is no clear way of figuring out how many mandrills there are. On the IUCN Red List, this species is currently set as Vulnerable (VU). Mandrills may help spread seeds because of what they eat. As long as they are either predators or prey, they may have some effect on the local food web.

Mandrill FAQs


Are Mandrills Bigger Than Gorillas?

Gorillas can be between 4 and 5.1 feet tall and weigh between 220 and 400 pounds on average. Their bodies and heads are dark and thick, and they don’t have a tail. Mandrills only weigh up to 60 lbs on average and are only 2.1 ft tall. Their faces and backs have bright coloration and have long faces and short tails.

Are Mandrills Monkeys Or Apes?

The largest monkey is the mandrill. They only live in the rain forests of equatorial Africa. They are shy and don’t like to be around other people.

Are Mandrills Good Pets?

No, this animal is not a good choice for a pet. They get very big, are very strong, and can hurt someone very badly with their sharp teeth if someone threatens them. Most of the time, it is against the law to keep a Mandrill as a pet.

Is A Mandrill Bigger Than A Baboon?

The mandrill baboon is one of the largest members of the monkey family. It is even bigger than the largest species of baboon. The mandrill monkey is also the monkey species with the most different looks between males and females. Male mandrills can weigh 30 or more pounds than females.

What Kind Of Animal Is A Mandrill Monkey?

The mandrill is not an ape; it is a type of monkey. Some people are not clear about what these words mean. Monkeys and apes are both primates, but they evolved in different ways and have some differences in how they work and look. More confusingly, the Old World monkeys relate to apes like chimpanzees and gorillas than the New World monkeys are. Bear in mind that all three groups are very different from each other.

Why Are Mandrill Butts Blue?

The way photon scattering occurs is by the fact that skin has many layers and pigments like melanin. The blue monkey butt works because of this extra complexity.

What Do Mandrills Eat?

The mandrill is an omnivore, which means it eats both plants and small animals.

Where Do Mandrills Live?

Mandrills live in rainforests, forest stream beds, and other kinds of forests that are similar to these. There is a lot of food and water in these places.

Are Mandrills Intelligent?

They’re remarkable creatures for their intelligence. It is common knowledge that they have the ability to successfully employ tools in the workplace. Due to their massive size, predators rarely threaten them.

How Many Mandrills Are Left In The World?

Populations are fragmented and found primarily in Nigeria, Cameroon, and Equatorial Guinea, with an estimated total of less than 4000. Despite being placed on Appendix, I of CITES and protected by national legislation across their habitat, the future of the mandrill and drill is still questionable.

What Is The Difference Between A Baboon And A Mandrill?

There was a time when baboons and mandrills were in the same genus. The baboon remained in the genus Papio, whereas the mandrill was transferred to the genus Mandrillus. The baboon, alongside the mandrill, is one of the world’s largest primates. Comparable social structures and diets exist there. Notable distinctions, though, are the baboon’s lack of colorful facial traits and its larger size.

How Aggressive Are Meandrill Monkeys?

So, are mandrills dangerous? A mandrill’s territorial defenses can be fairly fierce. However, this animal will not assault people if left alone in peace.

What Animals Eat Mandrills?

Leopards, crowned hawk eagles, and snakes are among the mandrill’s natural predators. Madrill are highly gregarious animals that congregate in large groups of 20 or more individuals. If there’s plenty of food, mandrills might form massive hordes of several hundred strong.

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