May 1, 2017

White-Faced Capuchins

 Of the four species of monkey we saw in Costa Rica, the white-faced capuchin were simultaneously the most bold, the most common, and the most expressive. We saw them on both coasts in sizeable troops that are more then eager to test the limits of what they can get away with around humans and hopefully steal a few bananas in the process.
 Being very curious and fearless around people, they would frequently come down to eye level to look for unattended picnics, which made them excellent subjects for portrait photos. At Manuel Antonio beach, where all of these pictures were taken, they were such a problem that our guide Mario spent the entire time we were there just keeping an eye on our bags to make sure we left with everything we had arrived with.
 Like many primates, they have developed some rudimentary tool use, including throwing stones or swinging sticks as weapons against snakes as well as using seasonal plants for medicinal purposes to repel insects and for antiseptic needs. Similar to people, all this thinking can leave them knackered out in the hot Costa Rican sun and in need of a nap like this guy.

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