The Mandrill (Mandrillus Sphinx) is the World’s largest Monkey native to West-central Africa. It is one of the most colorful mammals in the world, with red and Blue skin on its face and posterior. The species is sexually dimorphic, as males have larger bodies, longer canine teeth, and brighter coloring. Its closest living relative is the drill with which it shares the genus Mandrillus. Both species were traditionally thought to be baboons, but further evidence has shown that they are more closely related to white-eyed mangabeys.
1. Mandrill belongs to the family Cercopithecidae with the genus Mandrillus.
2. The Mandrill mainly live in Tropical Rainforests but will also travel across Savannas. They are active during the day and spend most of their time on the ground.
3. Mandrill prefers to eat fruits and seeds but will consume leaves, piths, mushrooms, and animals from insects to juvenile antelope.
4. Mandrills live in large, stable groups known as “hordes,” which can number in the hundreds.
5. Female “hordes” form the core of these groups, in which adult males are solitary and only reunite with the larger groups during the breeding season. Dominant males have the most vibrant colors, the fastest flanks and ramps, and the most successful siring young.
6. The mandrill is classified as vulnerable on the IUCN Red list. Its biggest threats are habitat destruction and hunting for Bush meat.
7. Gabon is considered the stronghold for the species. Its habitat has declined in Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea, while its range in the Republic of the Congo is limited.
8. The Mandrill was first scientifically depicted in Historia Animalium (1551-1558) by Conrad Gessner, who considered it a kind of hyena. The species was formally classified by Carl Linnaeus.
9. Two genera split around 4.5 million years ago (mya), while the Mandrill and drill split approximately 3.17 mya. Fossils of Mandrillus have not been found.
10. Some authorities have divided Mandrill populations into subspecies; the northern Mandrill (M.s sphinx) and the Southern Mandrill (M.s. madarogaster) A proposed third subspecies M.s. insularis was based on the mistaken belief that mandrills are present on Bioko Island.
11. The Mandrill has a stocky body with large head and muzzle and a short and stumpy tail.
12. The limbs are evenly sized, and the fingers and toes are more elongated than those in baboons, with a more opposable big toe on the feet.
13. The Mandrill is the most sexually dimorphic primate, and it is the largest Monkey. Females are less stocky and have shorter, flatter snouts.
14. Most of the teeth are larger in males, and canines reach up to 4.5 cm.
15. The coat of Mandrill is primarily grizzled or banded olive brown with a yellow-orange beard and sparse, light hairs on its underside.
16. Male mandrills have a ‘crest’ of long hairs on the head and neck, while both sexes have chest glands that are covered by long hairs. The face, rump, and genitals have less hair.
17. Mandrills have a red line running down the middle of their face, connecting to their red nose.
18. Females have more subdued facial coloring, but this can vary between individuals, with some having stronger red and Blue hues and others being darker or almost black.
19. Mandrills are noted for being among the most colorful mammals.
20. The Mandrills live in West Central Africa, including Southern Cameroon.
21. Mandrills prefer living in thick bushes dominated by perennial plants like gingers and plants of the genera Brilliantaisia and Phaulopsis.
22. The Mandrill is an Omnivore. The core of its diet consists of plants, of which it eats over hundred species.
23. During the wet season, Mandrills forage in continuous forests when the fruit is most available, while during the dry season, they feed in gallery forests and at the borders of Savannas and forests.
24. Mating occurs mostly during the dry season, with female ovulation peaking between June and September.