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Capuchins were named after capuchin monks because the dark fur that
forms a cap on their heads and extends down in ‘side-burns’ resembles
the cowl or headdress of the priests.
Capuchin monkeys are one of the most intelligent and adaptable of all
South American primates. The first capuchins (Cebus species)
appeared 16.3 million years ago in South America and, like all monkeys
they share about 97% of their DNA with humans. All capuchin species
are neotropical, in other words they are mainly found in northern and central South America. Within this
range only the howler monkey is as widespread, and the black-capped or tufted capuchin has the
widest distribution of any new world monkey, as they are found in every South American country except
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