Black Howler Monkey

Kingdom Order Family Genus Species
Animalia Primates Atelidae Alouatta Alouatta caraya
Black Howler
IUCN Status: Nearly-Threatened
  • Common Name: Black Howler
  • Taxonomy Classification Year: 1812
  • Monkey Size: 56 to 92 cm (22 to 36 in)
  • Skin Color(s): Black or yellow-brown
  • Habitat: Forest and rainforest
  • Diet: Herbivorous
  • Native Countries: Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina

Black Howler Distribution

Black Howler Monkey Characteristics

Black Howler Monkey

Alouatta caraya[1] is found in the tropical rain forests of central South America, extending through eastern Bolivia, Paraguay, southern Brazil, and northern Argentina.

  • Alouatta caraya has long and powerful prehensile tails.
  • These tails are usually hairless on the underside, allowing them to identify things and be sensitive to touch, like a fifth hand.
  • The black face is also primarily hairless, with slightly bushy eyebrows. It has medium-sized brown eyes that are set frontally.
  • Like other howler monkeys, they have an enlarged hyoid bone and larynx, which house the vocal tract that produces the characteristic howler.
  • However, Alouatta caraya has a less prominent lower jaw and neck than some howler monkeys.

What Do Black Howler monkeys Eat?

Alouatta Caraya

Being a herbivore, the Black Howler gets its nourishment from these main plant sources[¶]:

  • Ambay pumpwood (Cecropia pachystachya)
  • Pequi (Caryocar brasiliense)
  • Bastardcedar (Guazuma ulmifolia)
  • Sandpaper Tree (Curatella americana)
  • Earpod tree (Enterolobium contortisiliquum)
  • Mangabeira (Hancornia speciosa)
  • Sacky sac bean (Inga laurina)
  • Urucuri palm (Attalea phalerata)
  • Panama tree (Sterculia apetala)
  • Copernicia (Copernicia alba)
  • Motoyoe (Melicoccus lepidopetalus)
  • Almendro (Dipteryx alata)
  • Caskfruit (Doliocarpus)
  • Corojo (Acrocomia aculeata)
  • Jagua (Genipa americana)
  • Paquió (Hymenaea stigonocarpa)
  • Sweetwood (Nectandra membranacea)
  • River koko (Inga vera)
  • Abas (Psidium guajava)
  • Fustictree (Maclura tinctoria)
  • Shortleaf fig (Ficus citrifolia)

Black Howler monkey Facts

  • Alouatta Caraya monkeys are sexually dimorphic, with males weighing an average of 6.7 kg and females an average of 4.4 kg.
  • The species practices allomothering, in which other females carry, nurse, and protect babies that are not their own.
  • Young males are usually not allowed to touch the babies as they abuse or even maim them.
  • They are territorial but only seem to defend their immediate area, and territories sometimes overlap.
  • All group members “howl” each morning to inform neighboring groups of their position, probably to maintain distance between groups.

Suggested Reading: Kinds of Monkeys

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BioExplorer.net. (2022, October 02). Black Howler monkey. Bio Explorer. https://www.bioexplorer.net/animals/mammals/monkeys/black-howler-monkey/.
BioExplorer.net. "Black Howler monkey" Bio Explorer, 02 October 2022, https://www.bioexplorer.net/animals/mammals/monkeys/black-howler-monkey/.
BioExplorer.net. "Black Howler monkey" Bio Explorer, October 02 2022. https://www.bioexplorer.net/animals/mammals/monkeys/black-howler-monkey/.
Key References
  • [1]“Alouatta caraya – Vertebrate Collection | UWSP”. Accessed August 08, 2022. Link.
  • [¶] Fricke, E.C., Svenning, J. Accelerating homogenization of the global plant-frugivore meta-network. Nature 585, 74-78 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-020-2640-y.
  • [¶] Bello, C., Galetti, M., Montan, D., Pizo, M. A., Mariguela, T. C., Culot, L., Bufalo, F., Labecca, F., Pedrosa, F., Constantini, R., Emer, C., Silva, W. R., da Silva, F. R., Ovaskainen, O. and Jordano, P. (2017), Atlantic frugivory: a plant-frugivore interaction data set for the Atlantic Forest. Ecology, 98: 1729. doi:10.1002/ecy.1818. doi:10.1002/ecy.1818

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