Reaching lengths of almost 70 centimeters and weights of around 11 kilos, the howler monkey is one of the largest primates in the country, as well as one of the loudest. It has a special bone in its throat that creates a resonance chamber to help it amplify its voice.
They are called howlers because of the loud screams they emit. They use the middle and upper strata of the forest where they move softly and quietly. Its powerful roars (a sound which resembles a jet in the distance) can be heard several kilometers away. When the howlers wake up at around five or six in the morning, they begin to launch their characteristic howl, which serves to announce the presence of the group to their neighbors of the same species. A dominant male can displace the dominant male of another group from his position through ‘verbal’ battles and physical aggression. Of gregarious habits, their herds reach can reach numbers of 30 or more. The average pack size is between 12 to 18, among which there are two or three times more females than males. They feed on leaves, buds, flowers, and fruits. They also eat nuts. Eating leaves is the cause of the apparent inactivity of the howlers, who spend much of the day sitting and eating. Births occur in all months of the year, and females give birth to only one baby at a time.
It is common and abundant species in the flood forests and the low forest. However, it is becoming scarce in areas close to man because it is hunted for its meat.
Distribution and range
It is distributed in the rainforests of South America east of the Andes at heights of up to 1,200 meters.
Cover photo: Pixabay
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