Drill Monkey Facts!

Male drill by mmart754 GFDL

Drill Monkey Facts!

Male drill by mmart754 GFDL

The drill is an Old World monkey, related to the baboon and more closely to the mandrill. It has a very short tail, a large head and a large muzzle. Though it is mostly terrestrial (ground-dwelling), traveling over land on all fours, it will climb up into the trees to sleep at night. It eats mostly fruit, but will also eat plants and insects.

Drills live in groups of up to twenty members, led by a dominant male, but occasionally these groups will come together to form super groups of over a hundred individuals. Males have red chins and red, pink and blue bottoms, and when they are excited, these colors grow brighter. Depending on the season and how much food is available, drills are seminomadic, and will rub their chests against trees to mark their area. As with other monkeys, drills communicate by using facial expressions like the “grin”, but unlike other monkeys (where grinning is a sign of aggression), when a drill grins, it is actually a friendly smile.

range map of the Drill (Mandrillus leucophaeus). Image credit: Bamse GFDL

Drills are found only in southeastern Nigeria, southwestern Cameroon and on Bioko Island, Equatorial Guinea. Though technically protected by law in Nigeria and Cameroon, those laws aren’t strongly enforced, and drills not only continue to be hunted, but their habitat is fragmented and shrinking. They are therefore one of the most Endangered species in Africa.

Drill Monkey Facts

Old World Monkey
Alternative names: Mandrillus leucophaeus, Forest baboon
Where in the world? Africa, particularly Nigeria, Southwestern Cameroon and Bioko Island in Equatorial Guinea
Habitat: Rainforest, dense forests
Diet: Fruits, leaves, grasses, seeds, herbs, roots, eggs, mushrooms and insects
Size: Up to 28 inches long
Weight: 44 pounds
Average lifespan: 30 to 40 years
Conservation status: Endangered

Drills are monkeys that are found in only a small area of Africa – an area even smaller than the country of Switzerland. They are closely related to mandrills and baboons. Like mandrills, drills have exciting multi-colored backsides.

Drills are omnivores – they’ll eat anything. While they mostly eat fruits and various plant parts, they can also eat insects, sea turtle eggs, snails and small monkeys of other species.

Unfortunately, drills are now a threatened species, with only an estimated 3,000 drills or less remaining in the wild.

Taken from IP Factly’s 25 Awesome Apes & Monkeys

Drill Monkeys YouTube video playlist
Details of the videos featured are underneath.
Follow this link for more monkey videos.

The Playlist:

  1. A Wild Bioko Drill Monkey by lindsaymaess
  2. Saving a Species by cutcoECO
  3. Preview: The Drill Project by DrillFilms
  4. The Drill Project (El Proyecto del Mono Dril) by DrillFilms


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