Mandrillus sphinx

Mandrills live in central west African rainforests ranging from the Atlantic coast inland for 60 to 180 miles. They are omnivores. Mandrills travel in large groups called hordes or troops. Smaller harem groups consist of one male and five to ten females, plus juveniles.

Sphinx is the mandrill's species name, perhaps referring to its unusual face. In Egyptian mythology a sphinx has the body of a lion and head of a man, ram or hawk. In Greek mythology, a sphinx has wings, the head of a woman and the body of a lion.

Mandrill behavior and facts

  • Mandrills prefer fruit but also eat fungi, buds, insects, nuts, roots, seeds and small vertebrates, foraging primarily at less than 15 feet off the ground.
  • Their face is colorful: white eyelids, blue stripes on the sides and a bright red nose. Their rumps are bright blue and red, an adaptation that may serve as a signal to help keep a horde together while it travels through dense rainforest.
  • Mandrills store food in pouches within their cheeks.
  • They are terrestrial (active on the ground), though they do occasionally climb trees.

From birth to death

  • Gestation: 5 to 6 months
  • Females give birth to one baby.
  • Lifespan: 20 years, up to 25 years in captivity

Vital statistics

  • Height: 30 inches
  • Weight:
  • Males 50 to 75 pounds; females 25 to 35 pounds
  • Tail: 2.5 feet inches
  • Teeth: 2.5 inch canine teeth


Vulnerable due to habitat loss and hunting; studbook participantl; TAG

Mandrills, the Oregon Zoo and you

The zoo has four mandrills, Victoria, Nikki, Natalie and Kinshasa (Kinny). They live in the Chimpanzees exhibit. They eat monkey chow, fruits and vegetables. Mandrills are threatened by hunters and loss of habitat.