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squirrel monkey Either of at least two species of small, diurnal, arboreal monkeys of tropical South America; it has thick, dark fur and a long, heavy tail. Saimiri sciureus has a cap of greyish fur; S. oerstedi has a black cap and reddish fur on its back. Both are gregarious and live primarily on fruit. Length: to 40cm (16in); tail: 47cm (19in). Family Cebidae.