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Squirrel Monkey | by shankar s.
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Squirrel Monkey

The Emirates Park Zoo has another Squirrel Monkey which it keeps in a tiny bird cage far way from the main entrance. This is in big cats and elephant section, and while this too is in a corridor indoors, at least it's not as dark and dingy as the entrance tunnel. Over two visits, in Jan. 2004 and Jan 2005 respectively, I finally managed to get the poor monkey's face excatly within one of the squares of the dense cage netting. Squirrel monkeys grow from 25 to 35 cm long, plus a 35 to 42 cm tail. Male squirrel monkeys weigh 750 to 1100 g. Females weigh 500 to 750 g. They are equipped with a long and hairy tail, flat nail, curved small hallux and, pointed claws. Female squirrel monkeys have a pseudo-penis that they use to display dominance over smaller monkeys, in much the same way the male squirrel monkeys display their dominance. Like most of their New World monkey relatives, squirrel monkeys are diurnal and arboreal. Unlike the other New World monkeys, their tail is not used for climbing, but as a kind of "balancing pole" and also as a tool. Their movements in the branches can be very rapid. Pity about the bird cage. (Emirates Park Zoo, Samha, Abu Dhabi, Jan. 2015)

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Taken in January 2015