These are primarily terrestrial monkeys, and they move with long arms to forage on the ground for fruits, roots, and animals such as insects, reptiles, and amphibians. Their cheeks have built-in pouches that are used to store snacks for later consumption. Though mandrills spend much of their time on the ground, they can climb trees and do so to sleep. Mandrills live in troops, which are headed by a dominant male and include a dozen or more females and young. They also gather in multi-male/multi-female groups during the dry season that can include some 200 individuals, by doing so they provide potection against predators.
These colorful primates are threatened. They are often hunted as bushmeat, and many Africans consider them to be a delicacy. Mandrills are feeling the squeeze of spreading agriculture and human settlement—both are shrinking their rain forest homeland.