Venezuelan Red Howler

As the name suggests this New – World Monkey mostly inhabits territories in Venezuela. However it is also fairly common in Bolivia, parts of Brazil and Peru. Males and females are roughly the same size 1.6 – 2 feet long (50 – 60 cm) without the tail and the tail usually is the same length. Those monkeys usually weigh in at about 11 to 14 pounds (5 – 6.5 kilos). Also as the name implies the fur is red or sometimes orange.

Those monkeys usually live in groups and mostly eat leaves, sometimes throwing in some fruit or nuts in their diet. The anatomy of those animals is specifically suited for eating leaves – the gastric is relatively large and equipped to digest food fast.The groups usually consist of about 10 specimen always lead by an alpha male. A specific fact is that usually there are no more than two males in a group. The alpha male is the strongest and the oldest ape that leads all the other members in search for food to other treetops. The Venezuelan red howlers do not move around much, they usually move only quarter a mile (400 meters) every day. Because of the advanced digestion system and the calm lifestyle the monkeys are very strong with muscular limbs and tail.

Venezuelan Red Howlers are slow but steady climbers
Venezuelan Red Howlers are slow but steady climbers

After the Red Howlers mating a baby is born after 140 days. The baby ape spends at least the first year on his mother’s back and is let on his own only at the age of two. When the male monkeys reach sexual maturity at about 4 years, they are exiled from the group and they have to find a new group. Behavior that seems barbaric and unreasonable is that when one or several young males join a group they try to overthrow the existing leader and kill him and his offspring. This could be explained by trying to get rid of any competition.

The thing that makes this monkey very special is its loud voice. In the mornings started by the alfa male the monkeys start a ‘dawn chorus’. The loud voices are also a kind of a measurement of how cool and strong a male is so that violence can sometimes be avoided. A group hears another group nearby and can choose to avoid it or when considering fighting for an alpha male status, the young Howler can reconsider the course of action to take. All in all the Venezuelan Red Howler is the loudest animal on ground as its noises can be heard several miles through dense rainforests. Zoologists have found that this is because of unique structure of a bone called hyoid bone that is located under the chin where the monkey seems to have a long beard.

What appears to be a beard, is actually a special bone
What appears to be a beard, is actually a special bone



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