Birth of a mandrill
Here are the first pictures of our baby male mandrill (Mandrillus sphinx) born only a couple of weeks ago.
He doesn’t yet have the stunning colors of the adults and his sparse pale greyish fur almost blends in with the white hairs of his mother’s belly. But the crest of black hair on the top of his head already gives him a mischievous look!
Mandrills are the largest and among the most colorful monkeys. They are characterized by an extreme sexual dimorphism, with males being more two time heavier than females, and show bright colors of the face and genitals. Their brightly hued rumps help them follow each other in the vegetation: unlike baboons who live in rocky areas and savanna, mandrills are found in the dense tropical forests of Central and Western Africa and are semi-arboreal, that is to say they spend lots of time on the ground. Their heads are massive, especially in males who also have extremely long canine teeth used for displays, communication and self-defense.
Deforestation and mostly poaching are the main threats on the species listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List. Large males are prime targets for poachers who sell their meat to local and regional bushmeat markets.