Can monkeys eat meat?

In this short article, we will answer the question “Can monkeys eat meat?”, and discuss the dietary habits of the monkeys and the food they typically eat.

Can monkeys eat meat?

Yes, monkeys can eat meat. Monkeys are omnivorous animals that consume a wide variety of foods, including fruit, meat, termites, red goats (a tiny antelope), red pigs, small rodents, and even other adult monkeys. 

Up until this point, they were unknown for eating reptiles. Unusual studies have discovered a group of chimpanzees who frequently eat turtles in Gabon.

What do monkeys often eat?

Like humans, monkeys eat both animal and plant foods. Primates eat primarily plants rather than animals. Except for primates who only consume leaves, practically all apes eat fruits, nuts, leaves, insects, and sporadically non-daily items like birds or lizards.

Although they rarely do so, monkeys can digest meat and can eat sweet fruits in addition to leaves. Of course, chimpanzees occasionally consume meat, but it makes up a very small amount of their diet.


The majority of the day is spent eating for monkeys, but feeding is typically done alone. Early in the morning, they begin to eat nearly everything nearby, but after a few hours, they become pickier and begin to pick the ripe fruits and leaves with the most water. 

They eat for 6 to 8 hours on average. For instance, the two chimpanzee species share a similar diet. However, compared to bonobos, common chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) eat more meat.

Animal origin foods

Although monkeys consume a considerable amount of protein from their vegetables, they still require a little more. They were once thought to be herbivores, however today it is understood that less than 2% of their diet consists of meat. 

Males eat more meat than females, who mostly rely on insects for protein. Sometimes they come to hunt. On the other hand, certain monkeys are frequently seen using a stick or twig that they bring into the termite nest to catch termites. 

The chimpanzee, for instance, pulls out the tool after the insects have climbed onto it and consumed the freshly obtained food. They may occasionally eat caterpillars as well.

Some monkeys, including the blue bogeyman (Philantomba monticola) and other monkeys, can hunt small vertebrates, primarily antelope, though they are not particularly skilled hunters. They also occasionally consume wild boar, birds, and eggs.

Chimpanzees, for instance, hunt the yellow baboon (Procolobus badius), the red-tailed monkey, and the western red colobus (Papio cynocephalus). Typically, less than 2% of your diet is made up of meat. Hunting is a cooperative endeavour.

A chimpanzee can go through the woods to grab a tiny monkey, but if it requires assistance, each member of the group has a hunting job. Some predators pursue their prey, while others obstruct their path, conceal, and ambush it.

They distribute the flesh among the group once the animal is dead. Although bonobos don’t hunt frequently, they can catch duikers, flying squirrels, and termites if given the chance. 

Common chimpanzees in the wild and bonobos in captivity have both been the victims of cannibalism in the past. They don’t happen often, but they can. Other communities’ members may be killed and eaten by pan troglodytes.

How monkey feeding habits are like?

From species to species, this varies. Around 260 different species of monkeys can be found worldwide. 

You might be shocked to learn that spider monkeys in the rainforest control their daily diet rather than merely consuming a certain amount of protein each day. This is because they always depend on the sort of food that is available.

The loudest land animal, the howler monkey is a strict vegetarian who prefers to eat tiny leaves and fruits. As omnivorous creatures, capuchin monkeys eat a variety of things, including fruits, leaves, small reptiles, bird eggs, and some smaller birds.

In addition to seeds, dried fruits, bird eggs, plants, leaves, tree sap, flowers, and small animals like insects and some spiders are all consumed by monkeys.

Monkeys have a very broad range of eating habits that vary greatly based on the species and the environment in which they reside. While eating habits change, certain dishes remain popular. For instance, all types of monkeys consume bananas.


In this short article, we have answered the question “Can monkeys eat meat?”, and also discussed the dietary habits of the monkeys and the food they typically eat.


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