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The Loudest Voice of the Jungle

The howler monkey will not be ignored; when you hear their collective roar it can not be mistaken for any other species

The Mexican howler monkey is famous for its very distinct howling. This primate’s deep, haunting growl, much like a horror-movie soundtrack, is meant to intimidate and scare off other males from attempting to take over their territory. They are lazy and prefer verbally warning others than having any physical altercations. The alarming sounds are routinely performed early in the morning and at dusk.

dato1The howler lives in the jungles of southeastern Mexico through to Peru. The Mexican howler may live up to 20 years and is the largest of the new world monkeys. The prehensile tail is strong enough to hold their weight as they hang from a tree. The males are black, while the females and the young are golden brown. These monkeys spend their days lounging in trees eating leaves, flowers, and fruits, with no desire to leave the treetops. Although they prefer not to use any energy or interact with others, they will fight for dominance and even kill a male that attempts to take over.

The female gives birth to one infant after an 180-day gestation period and takes care of the baby for about 12 months. The number of monkeys in a troop varies, and there is a distinct hierarchy within the group.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List classified the howler as critically endangered. The greatest threat to the survival of this animal is the destruction of their habitat. Other dangers include hunters, jaguars and other large cats, and sadly, males committing infanticide. 

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