Monkeys Eat Anoles

Capuchin monkey eating a basilisk. Photo by Andrew G.

Capuchin monkeys may look cute, but in reality they’re cold-blooded killers. A recent paper in Herpetology Notes reports on a golden-bellied capuchin (different species than the one pictured above and below) that ate a Polychrus marmoratus, an Anolis ortonii, and an Enyalius catenatus.

Monkey predation on anoles has been documented previously. This paper cites a case of a capuchin eating an A. cupreus, and primatologist Betsy Mitchell recorded one eating an anole–perhaps A. frenatus–in her thesis (which I don’t have in front of me). We also reported on another capuchin species eating a Polychrus in a previous post. A quick google found an undocumented report of rhesus macaques eating A. carolinensis in Florida. Anyone know of any other reports?

And, finally, for your delectation, a video of a capuchin eating an iguana:

About Jonathan Losos

Professor and Curator of Herpetology at the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University. I've spent my entire professional career studying anoles and have discovered that the more I learn about anoles, the more I realize I don't know.

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