Q:

What does a capuchin monkey eat?

A:

Capuchin monkeys are omnivores that eat fruits, nuts, seeds, buds, insects, spiders, birds' eggs and small vertebrates. Capuchin monkeys that live near water also eat crabs and shellfish by cracking their shells open with stones.

Capuchin monkeys must have a varied and healthy diet featuring plenty of small fruits, such as grapes and raisins, and pieces of apples, pears, mango, watermelon, cantaloupe and kiwi. Additionally, they eat vegetables, such as cabbage, kale, spinach, cooked carrot and sweet potato. Leaves are also important, and include Eugenia, hibiscus, mulberry and maple.

Capuchin monkeys in captivity should be given human baby formula. Soy-free milk is necessary, as the soy could lead to aggression as the monkey becomes an adult. One alternative is goat's milk. As the monkey is weaned off the bottle, caretakers should supplement its diet with monkey biscuits for the rest of its life.

Treats that capuchin monkeys can eat include microwaved vegetables, meal worms, crickets, soaked raisins, boiled eggs, noodles, and lettuce mix that's been chopped up well. Iron-enriched foods, including fortified cereal, should be avoided.

The amount of food that a capuchin monkey should eat depends upon its weight and metabolic rate. Regardless of the amount of food at each meal, separating the food into two feedings per day is important.

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