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Your morning adorable: Squirrel monkeys forage in Jell-O, don't get in trouble for it

March 2, 2010 | 12:00 pm

At New York's Bronx Zoo a few months back, the resident squirrel monkeys received the strangest treat they'd ever seen: Jell-O.

The blue goo was stuffed with blueberries -- a highly desirable treat for the monkeys -- which stimulated their foraging instincts, according to the zoo. That means that, for squirrel monkeys, eating Jell-O isn't just snacking -- it's considered an enrichment activity.

Squirrel monkeys spend much of their time leaping from tree to tree in the South and Central American tropical forests that are their native habitat. They're well adapted for such a style of movement: Their legs are proportioned in such a way as to give them extra force when jumping.

In Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands and Slovenia, squirrel monkeys are called something very different (and a little bit creepy). In those countries, the name for these little guys references the skull-like markings on their faces and translates to "death's head monkey."

-- Lindsay Barnett

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Video: Wildlife Conservation Society

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