"Like most monkeys, capuchins live in complex social groups. This species lives in groups of usually 10-20 individuals, with a dominant "alpha" male, several breeding adult females, plus subadults and all of the young. Alphas can keep their position for many years in this species - as long as they stay on the good side of the females!
"I witnessed the change in power from alpha Simon to newcomer Cecil in a group of white-faced capuchins in Costa Rica. Simon was one of my favourites, but Cecil won the favour of the females and in the end took over control of the group"
Dr Tracie McKinney is a Senior Lecturer in Biological Anthropology at the University of South Wales and a member of the Earth, Ecology and Environment Research Group. Dr McKinney is a member of the IUCN Primate Specialist Group Section for Human-Primate Interactions, where she works to ensure that our research and policies around primates include the human dimension. She is currently working with collaborators in Costa Rica to install aerial bridges to reduce road fatalities for the Vulnerable mantled howler monkey.