For Kids Only

Do Monkeys Have Belly Buttons?


Yes. Belly buttons mark the place where the baby monkey’s umbilical (um-BIL-i-cal) cord was attached. Being mammals, baby monkeys grow inside their mothers. The umbilical cord brings food and oxygen from the mother to the baby while the baby is in the womb. Sometime after the baby monkey is born, the umbilical cord falls off, leaving a small scar called the belly button. When a monkey’s belly fur is long or thick the belly button is usually hard to see.

Monkeys like white-faced capuchin Heidi have thinner belly fur and the belly button is easier to find. Still, you have to look through her fur to find it. Monkey belly buttons are located in the same place on the stomach that you would find your own belly button.

Young patas monkey Bhuti had what seemed to be an “outie” belly button about the size of a grape. It turned out to be a belly button hernia instead. Bhuti needed a doctor visit to have it repaired.

(The only mammals who don’t have belly buttons are kangaroos, other marsupials and egg laying mammals like the platypus. Marsupials have umbilical cords but they break off from them at such a young age that the scars left behind are impossible to see.)


Here is Bhuti the patas monkey, above, when she was only about 5 months old and still had her belly button hernia. Because of her thick belly fur, it could only be felt or seen up close. Below, white-faced capuchin Heidi’s belly fur is thinner but you still have to look up close to see her belly button.





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