Fun Mandrill Facts for Kids

Mandrills are known for their bright colors and exotic look. They are the largest species in the old-world monkey family. Have you ever seen Disney’s lion king? If so, then you know who Rafiki is, Rafiki is actually a mandrill. To learn more interesting facts about mandrills check out these fun mandrill facts for kids.

What is a Mandrill?

Scientific Name mandrills sphinx

Mandrills are the world’s largest species of Old World Monkeys.

Mandrill Habitat

Mandrils are often found in rainforests. They can also live in savannahs and montane thick forests. They live in Africa and can be found in the countries of Gabon, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, and the Congo. The largest population lives in the country of Gabon, a country located along the Atlantic coast of central Africa. They spend a lot of time on the ground but often sleep and seek shelter at night in trees.

What do Mandrill’s Look Like?

Mandrills have fuzzy heads but are known for their bright colors.   They have red and blue skin around their nose, bright blue skin on their bottoms, and olive green fur.   Males have an orange-yellow beard.

Adult Males have the brightest colors. The biggest and most brightly colored males attract the most females and are the primary breeders.

The bright blue colors of their bottoms are also used to help follow each other through the thick forests.

Male mandrills are three times bigger than females.  They are around 32 inches tall and weigh between 40-80 pounds.

Female mandrills are around 22 inches tall and weigh between 24-33pounds.

Mandrills have

Mandrills have powerful arms and legs. They use their long powerful arms to climb trees and find food.

Males also have longer tails than females.

Mandrills have long arms that they use to find food and climb trees.

Baby Mandrill

During mating season (July-September), females will show their brightly colored bottoms to males to attract them.

Females usually give birth to one baby.  The baby has dark-colored hair, white hair on their arms and legs, and pink faces when they are born. at two months old they start to shed their baby hair and a new coat of hair comes in.

The baby stays with its mother until a new baby is born, usually 1 year. When the new baby is born the mother mandrill pushes her older baby away to care for the new baby. Mandrills become adults at age 4.

Mandrill Characteristics

Mandrills spend most of the time on the ground.  They sleep high in the trees to keep away from predators.  Mandrills will sleep in different trees each night.

Mandrills have large canine teeth approximately 2.5 inches long.

They will sometimes show their teeth as a greeting for other mandrills.

Mandrills are social animals and live in groups of around 20.  Sometimes a ground will meet up with another group to form large groups called hordes.  Hordes can have over 1,000 mandrills. Mandrills will care for one another in groups, they will even help groom each other.

Like other monkeys, mandrills communicate with each other through scents, sounds, and body language.

What do Mandrill’s Eat?

Mandrills are omnivores meaning they eat both plants and animals.  Mandrills eat plants, fruit, grass, fungi, insects, and eggs.

They have large cheek pockets in their mouths.  They use them to store food to eat later on.

Mandrills are territorial and will often leave a scent to mark their territory.


Predators include leopards, eagles, snakes, chimpanzees, and humans.

Mandrills are sometimes hunted in Africa. Their meat is considered a delicacy.

The lifespan for mandrills in the wild is 25 years and 40 in captivity.