Sunday Monkey Facts
This post is sponsored by SAASA and Monkeyland
Fun Facts about Howler Monkeys
Howler monkeys are native to South and Central American forests. These monkeys are famous for their loud howls, which can travel three miles (4.8 km) through dense forest. They are the loudest monkey and actually the loudest land mammal in the World - this is a Guinness Book Record Fact. Howler monkeys have an enlarged hyoid bone in their throats. This amplifies their calls. Group males call at dawn and dusk, and at times during the day. Howler monkeys get their name from the loud howls, grunts, roars and barks that they make.
Their prehensile tails are as long as their bodies. The word prehensile is pronounced pre-hen-sil. Having a prehensile tail means it can be used to grab things, much like an extra hand! This handy tail helps the howler monkeys cling to tree branches, which is important because they spend all day in the trees.
They are social animals that live together in groups of 12 to 20 monkeys called troops. The troop has a leader, which is one of the older and more mature male monkeys.
Howler monkeys, like all monkeys from the Americas, have nostrils that are quite far apart and sideways-facing. African monkeys have nostrils that are closer together, and that point in the same direction.
Howler monkeys are big and rather slow-moving when compared to other monkeys. Howler monkeys usually walk along the tops of branches on all fours, using their tails in addition to their hands to maintain their balance and prevent themselves from falling. Howler monkeys don’t like to jump from tree to tree. They prefer always to have a hand, foot, or tail hold on a tree as they reach over to the next tree. Howler monkeys have been known to link together hand-to-tail between trees, making a bridge for young howler monkeys to walk across. It’s a long way down from the canopy!
Howler monkeys live in troops of between 10 and 20 monkeys. There are always more females than male monkeys in the troop. Living in a troop allows the monkeys to protect their feeding grounds and to look after their young. It also provides extra protection from predators.
Like humans, howler monkeys are ‘trichromats‘, which means they have 3 types of colour receptors in their eyes, improving their colour vision.
Howler Monkeys like to spend time grooming each other both for enjoyment and closeness and to rid each other of unwanted dirt and insects.
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