Amanda, one of 13 capuchin monkeys at the Alameda Park Zoo, gave birth late Saturday night.

The baby, whom zoo staff have named “A.J.,” will spend the first several months of its life clinging to mom as she moves about the enclosure she shares with 12 others of her kind, including a male named Amos.

Native to the rainforests of South America, capuchins normally live in colonies which may consist of up to 30 individuals.

The capuchin uses its opposable thumbs and prehensile tail to assist in reaching fruits, seeds and leaves that make up the vast majority of its diet in the wild.

The lifespan of a capuchin monkey is 35 to 40 years in captivity and probably ten years less in the wild because of predators and potential illnesses.

“Amanda is approximately 20 years old,” zoo director Steven Diehl said.

Contrary to what many people believe, monkeys do not make good pets. Monkeys have the ability to seriously injure humans. When scared or threatened, they will not hesitate to urinate or defecate on someone who may be handling or holding them. The canine teeth that monkeys possess are designed to slash, slice and penetrate the though husks of coconuts and other organic fare that they feed on.

While television and movies such as “Pirates of the Caribbean,” which features a capuchin monkey, would suggest they do indeed make good pets, what most people don’t realize is that primates used for movies and television are usually juveniles who have not yet reached maturity.

Most chimps used in film work are less than 3 years old.