Mandrills are one of the largest monkey species in the world. Their furry head crests, manes, and beards are quite impressive, but what will really get your attention is their bright coloration. They have thick purple and blue ridges along the nose, their nose and lips are red, and their beard is golden.

But that’s not all—those bright colors show up again on the mandrills’ rear end! Why? Probably for displays, but also so they can follow each other in thick forests.

Sometimes mandrills shake their head and "grin" widely to show their enormous canine teeth, which can be over 2 inches (5 centimeters) long. This may appear scary to us, but it’s usually a friendly gesture within the mandrill community.

If a mandrill is upset, it may beat the ground energetically. This is no slight gesture, as the mandrill is strong and muscular with powerful limbs.

Conservation Status

Help Us End Extinction.

Shop San Diego Zoo - grab great animal inspired gifts and support wildlife