This primate is located in a tropical jungle in Western-Central Africa. Once thought to be a decadent of a baboon or even related to the great apes. It’s is really only a Medium sized primate. The Mandrill is very well recognized by it’s blue multicolored nose and rear end.
The Mandrill is found in the tropical rainforests and occasionally grasslands of southern Cameroon, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, and Congo in western-central Africa. The mandrill’s habitat is bordered by the Sanaga River to the north and the Ogooué and Ivindo rivers to the east. Recent research suggests that mandrill populations north and south of the Ogooué river are so genetically different that they are in fact separate subspecies.
Mandrills have distinctively colored noses and rumps which make them stand out in the forest. The colors of the females nose are much duller than the males, and the females are also nearly half the size of the male. The male mandrill has incredibly long teeth, which he bares as a caution to approachers. The male mandrill has these adaptations so that he can show himself off to other mandrill and also intimidate predators.
Mandrills are sociable animals and inhabit areas of forest in large groups known as a troop. The mandrill troop primarily includes female mandrills and their young who are led by a single dominant male mandrill. The alpha male mandrill both mates with his females and protects them. Most adult male mandrills that are not leading a troop tend to be solitary animals. Mandrills are omnivorous animals and therefore eat almost anything. The mandrill primarily feeds on fruits, berries, seeds, nuts, roots, leaves, insects and even small mammals and reptiles. Most of the mandrills diet is found at ground level or just above.
Due to their large size, mandrills have few predators in their natural environment. The leopard is the main predator of the mandrill, along with large snakes and birds of prey, who prey more upon the mandrill young. The human is also one of the mandrill’s main predators as they have hunted the mandrill over the years for meat. Today the mandrill is considered to be an animal species that is vulnerable to extinction, as mandrill population numbers have been declining due to over-hunting an habitat loss.