Mandrillus sphinx

About the Mandrill


Geographic Range:


Class: Mammalia
Order: Primatea
Family: Cercopithecidae
Genus: Mandrillus
Species: sphinx

The mandrill is a primate with a brightly colored face: a red stripe atop its muzzle, blue coloring on the sides of the muzzle and a yellow beard. Females have similar but duller coloring. Mandrills are very expressive. They’ll slap the ground violently when angry, make a yawning gesture when unable to carry out a desired activity like mating or fighting, and shake their head and shoulders as an invitation to be groomed.

Mandrill Facts

Mandrills have olive-brown fur with pale underparts. Males have a naked rump that's blue or purple colored. The face of adult males is very brightly colored, with a red stripe on the middle of the muzzle. Ridges on either side between the eyes and nose are blue with a yellow beard. Females and juveniles have similar but duller coloration.

Height: 2-2.5 feet tall with males being taller than females
Weight: Males average around 100 pounds. Females average around 50 pounds.

Mandrills eat a wide variety of fruits, fungi, roots, insects and worms. They're also known to eat small reptiles, amphibians and mammals.

Mandrills breed between the months of July and October. A single offspring is born after a six-month gestation period. Young reach sexual maturity after 4 to 8 years of age.

Mandrill groups range in size from a few individuals up to 50, dependent on resource availability. They forage on the ground during the day and sleep in the trees at night for protection. While foraging, they grunt to keep track of where everyone in the group is. This helps especially in their dense forest habitat. The dominant male may wander away from the group but returns if there is a sign of danger. Within the group, ritual grooming strengthens bonds between individuals. When frustrated or angered, they'll yawn to show their impressive teeth.

Rainforests and sub-tropical forests, from flat plateaus to mountainous terrain in south-western Cameroon, western Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, and southwestern Republic of Congo.

Median Life Expectancy:
9 years

Mandrills are primarily threatened by poaching for their meat to be sold. Habitat loss is the second biggest threat to their wild populations.

Fun Fact:
Mandrills have unique color patterns that other mandrills see and can gather information about. For example, when a female is ready for mating, her hind will swell and become more brightly colored.