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It is one of two species assigned to the genus Mandrillus, along with the drill.
Mandrills are found in southern Cameroon, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, and Congo. Their mating season peaks in July to September, with a corresponding birth peak in December to April. Charles Darwin wrote in The Descent of Man that "no other member in the whole class of mammals is coloured in so extraordinary a manner as the adult male mandrill's".
The mandrill has an olive green or dark grey pelage with yellow and black bands and a white belly.
Males sometimes fight for breeding rights which results in dominance. Gaining dominance, that is becoming the alpha male, results in an "increased testicular volume, reddening of sexual skin on the face and genitalia, and heightened secretion of the sternal cutaneous gland".
due to extremely strong sexual selection which favors males in both size and coloration.
Males typically weigh 19–37 kg (42–82 lb), with an average mass of 32.3 kg (71 lb).
The areas around the genitals and the anus are multi-colored, being red, pink, blue, scarlet, and purple.
The coloration of the animal is more pronounced in dominant adult males.