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

Cite This Page

APA7MLA8Chicago (2023, October 01). Black Howler monkey. Bio Explorer. "Black Howler monkey" Bio Explorer, 01 October 2023, "Black Howler monkey" Bio Explorer, October 01 2023.
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).
  • [¶] 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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