Mandrills are large terrestrial monkeys that are closely related to baboons. Their vivid colours are important socially since they communicate maturity and status. Males have bright blue and red patches on their faces, while the bottoms of female Mandrills swell and become bright red when they are ready to mate.
Mandrills live in groups that comprise one dominant male and several females and their young. The dominant male is the biggest and most brightly coloured; other males are chased from the group and live alone.
Sometimes groups come together to form large troupes. The largest troupe recorded contained 1300 animals. Mandrills are extremely noisy as they communicate while feeding with deep grunts and high-pitched crowing.
Like other primates, Mandrills groom one another, which strengthens social bonds. Females give birth to one young.
Mandrills live in tropical forests where they can forage for a diverse range of food. During the day they move along the forest floor looking for food, and at night they retreat up the trees to sleep in safety. In some areas they raid crops and are considered pests.
Mandrill meat is sold in markets in western Africa. As the animals live in big noisy groups, the hunters find them easily and can kill large numbers with guns and dogs.