Saki monkey

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White-faced saki (Pithecia pithecia)
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Primates
Suborder: Haplorhini
Infraorder: Simiiformes
Family: Pitheciidae
Subfamily: Pitheciinae
Genus: Pithecia
Desmarest, 1804
Type species
Pithecia pithecia
Linnaeus, 1766

Sakis, or saki monkeys, are any of several New World monkeys of the genus Pithecia.[1] They are closely related to the bearded sakis of genus Chiropotes.


Sakis' range includes northern and central South America, extending from the south of Colombia, over Peru, in northern Bolivia. and into the central part of Brazil.

Body functionality[edit]

Sakis are small-sized monkeys with long, bushy tails. Their furry, rough skin is black, grey or reddish-brown in color depending upon the species. The faces of some species are naked, but their head is hooded with fur. Their bodies are adapted to life in the trees, with strong hind legs allowing them to make far jumps. Sakis reach a length of 30 to 50 cm, with a tail just as long, and weigh up to 2 kg.

Habitat and habit[edit]

Sakis are diurnal animals. They live in the trees of the rain forests and only occasionally go onto the land. They mostly move on all fours, sometimes running in an upright position on the hind legs over the branches, and sometimes jumping long distances. For sleeping they roll themselves cat-like in the branches. They are generally very shy, cautious animals. Sakis allow adult offspring and non-related immigrants into their groups unlike titi or owl monkeys.[2] Saki monkeys have been commonly considered to be socially monogamous, but generally only sakis who are pair-living exhibit social monogamy.[3] Females primarily carry infants and male-infant interactions are rare.[2]


Sakis are frugivores. Their diet consists of over 90% fruit and is supplemented by a small proportion of leaves, flowers, and insects. Sakis, as well as uakaris, engage in a specialized form of frugivory in which they focus specifically on unripe fruits and seeds.


Mating is non-seasonal, and can happen any time during the year. After approximately 150- to 180-day gestation, females bear single young. The young are weaned after 4 months, and are fully mature in 3 years. Their life expectancy is up to 30 years.



  1. ^ Groves, C. P. (2005). "Order Primates". In Wilson, D. E.; Reeder, D. M (eds.). Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 147–148. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494.
  2. ^ a b Thompson, Cynthia L.; Norconk, Marilyn A. (2011). "Within-group social bonds in white-faced saki monkeys (Pithecia pithecia) display male-female pair preference". American Journal of Primatology. 73 (10): 1051–1061. doi:10.1002/ajp.20972. PMID 21695710.
  3. ^ Fernandez‐Duque, Eduardo; Huck, Maren; Van Belle, Sarie; Di Fiore, Anthony (April 2020). "The evolution of pair‐living, sexual monogamy, and cooperative infant care: Insights from research on wild owl monkeys, titis, sakis, and tamarins". American Journal of Physical Anthropology. 171 (S70): 118–173. doi:10.1002/ajpa.24017. ISSN 0002-9483. PMID 32191356.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Marsh, L. K. (July 2014). "A Taxonomic Revision of the Saki Monkeys, Pithecia Desmarest, 1804, Part 1" (PDF). Neotropical Primates. IUCN/SSC Primate Specialist Group, Conservation International. 21 (1): 1–82. doi:10.1896/044.021.0101. Retrieved 2014-09-03.
  5. ^ a b c d e f Marsh, L. K. (July 2014). "A Taxonomic Revision of the Saki Monkeys, Pithecia Desmarest, 1804, Part 2" (PDF). Neotropical Primates. IUCN/SSC Primate Specialist Group, Conservation International. 21 (1): 83–163. doi:10.1896/044.021.0101. Retrieved 2014-09-03.
  6. ^ a b c Serrano-Villavicencio, J.E.; Murtado, C.M.; Vendramel, R.L.; Oliveira do Nascimento, F. (January 2019). "Reconsidering the taxonomy of the Pithecia irrorata species group (Primates: Pitheciidae)". Journal of Mammalogy. 100 (1): 130–141. doi:10.1093/jmammal/gyy167.

External links[edit]

Data related to Pithecia (Saki monkey) at Wikispecies