The Edinburgh Zoo has welcomed four baby squirrel monkeys into the monkey troop. The babies were born in July and August at Living Links, a field station and research center at the zoo.
The tiny babies currently spend their time clinging to their mothers but will soon begin to explore their surroundings as they become more independent.
The mating of the squirrel monkeys is subject to seasonal influences. Females give birth to young during the rainy season, after a 150- to 170-day gestation. The mothers exclusively care for the young.
Squirrel monkeys are omnivores, eating primarily fruits and insects. Occasionally they also eat seeds, leaves, flowers, buds, nuts, and eggs.
They live to about 15 years old in the wild, and over 20 years in human care. Menopause in females probably occurs in the mid-teens.
Living Links is a partnership between the University of St Andrews and the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS), and supports studies by scientists affiliated with the Scottish Primate Research Group.
The four newborn common squirrel monkeys may one day contribute to research at the facility.