Howler monkeys are one of the largest South American primates. Male howler monkeys are black in colour and females are gold/blonde. Howler monkeys have a gestation period of 6 months and give birth to one baby. All infants are born golden and, if male, they gradually darken until they are completely black in colour at around 2 years old. They live in groups of around 5-8 individuals.
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Howler monkeys are perfectly adapted to life in the trees. They have a prehensile tail which acts as a fifth limb. They use it to hang from branches, freeing up the other four limbs to help with eating. Their tail is hairless on the underside and very sensitive so they can feel what they are grabbing.
Howler monkeys “howl” in the morning and evening to establish their territory; this can be heard approximately 5km away. They have one of the loudest calls in the animal world.
Howler monkeys spend up to 80% of their day resting to conserve energy and move slowly through the canopy. They feed on a lot of leaves, but will also eat fruits and are very important to the ecosystem as seed dispersers.
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