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Monkey: Black & gold howler monkey

Alouatta caraya
Mammal

IUCN Status
Least concern as it is very adaptable & able to live in may habitats often disturbed by man and has large numbers in National Parks.



Diet

All Howler monkeys are really folivores just eating leaves from the top of the rainforest canopy. They will occasionally eat fruit, nuts, flowers and eggs and even chicken eggs from coups (if they brave going the ground near rural farmers).

Habitat

Tropical bush (cerrado), dry, gallery and rain forests of the Amazon in Bolivia, Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina.

Behaviour

This is a social New World primate living in groups of 1 male to 4 or 5 females plus young. They seldom leave the tops of trees and have an adapted hyoid bone that enables their dawn and dusk group howling to be heard over distances of 5km in the valleys of the rainforest.

Breeding

Individuals can breed at about 4 years of age. A single youngster is born brown/gold in colour and if a male turns black at about 3 years of age.

All off spring in the group between 2 and 4 years of age leave their parental group so no in-breeding occurs with this family.

Fun Facts

This is the loudest land animal on earth! Group howling separates each group spatially and is thought to guard their mates!

A prehensile tail offers a fifth arm or hand to this species as they move through the tree tops and is tremendously strong as they are often seen dangling by their tail!

Over 70% of the day is spent asleep (allowing the leaves they have eaten to ferment in their caecum) making this one of the least active monkeys in the world!

Sexually dichromatic, females are gold and males black.

This is probably the most “melancholic” looking monkey ever!

At The Zoo

Our pair are called “Wings” (the male) and “Grebe” (our female). We have looked after them as part of the European studbook for nearly seven years now but unfortunately they have never bred.