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Howler Monkey

Description:There are nine species of Howler Monkeys found in the Amazon Rainforest. This article describes the Black Howler Monkey. The male Howler Monkey is entirely black while female and young Howler Monkeys are gray or tan. Howlers have a long prehensile tail and short snout. Howler Monkeys are the loudest land animal on earth. Their howling calls can be heard from three miles away and are used to declare territories. They vary in size and can weigh from 8 to 22 pounds.

Howler Monkeys live in “troops” of 4 to 18 individuals. Each troop maintains its own territory which ranges from 3 to 25 acres. Howler Monkeys have a 30 inch long tail, which helps this acrobatic mammal swing from branch to branch and balance itself among the tangles of the rainforest canopy. Howler Monkey troops are led by a dominant male which will kill all infant monkeys when it takes over (so females will mate with him). Howler Monkeys are among the least active of all moneys and spend up to 80% of their time resting in the branches.

Diet: Leaves and fruit. Howler moneys drink by wetting their hands and licking the water off of them.

Habitat/Range: The Howler Monkey lives in the canopy of Central and South American rainforests.

Breeding: Male Howler Monkeys reach reproductive age at five years, while females can reproduce between the ages of 3-4. Females give birth to a single baby after a gestation period of about six months. Baby Howler Monkeys cling to their mothers and are weaned (the age at which they stop suckling) at about ten to eighteen months. Several different females within a troop may tend to the needs of the baby.The average Howler Monkey lives about 15 years in the wild.

Status:Though not officially considered a threatened species, populations of Howler Monkeys have thought to be in decline for several decades because of hunting and habitat destruction.

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