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Black Howler Monkey Fact Sheet

  • Latin Name

    Alouatta caraya
  • Class

    Mammals
  • Order

    Primates
  • Range

    Central South America

  • Habitat

    From rain forests with near constant precipitation to tropical deciduous forests with changing seasons.

  • Niche

    Howler monkeys live in large social groups comprised of family members. Females allomother—aunts and siblings will carry, groom and nurture newborns. Adult males will help, too. Maturing males leave their birth group to join another. Everyone howls in the morning to mark territory, offering a loud, deep roar.

  • Life History

    Howler monkeys are promiscuous. Single births are nurtured for about a year before the dam begins mating again. After weaning, young begin eating fruit, flowers and plants like the adults.

  • Special Adaptations

    • Their molars are specially adapted for processing leaves, which they spend most of their day doing. These leaves are fermented in enlarged caecums within the howler monkey's gastrointestinal tract.
    • Strong prehensile tails enable howler monkeys to grip and hang from branches. The hairless underside is sensitive, enabling them to identify texture.
    • Oversized vocal features (larynx, etc.) enable howler monkeys to emit their titular calls.
    • Howler monkeys mark their territory with dung piles and scent markings on branches.

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2001 North Clark Street • Chicago, IL 60614 • 312-742-2000

2001 North Clark Street • Chicago, IL 60614 Get Map/Directions Call 312-742-2000

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