MONKEY MADNESS PART 1


Did you know that Costa Rica is home to 4 species of monkeys?

  • HOWLER MONKEYS

  • CAPUCHIN MONKEYS

  • SPIDER MONKEYS

  • SQUIRREL MONKEYS

Well, we guess the most famous (and also most common) monkey in Costa Rica is the howler monkey. So let’s just start with these guys.


These monkeys live only in Central America and in parts of South America.


The volume of the howling can reach up to 140 db and can travel up to 3 to 5 km.

When we first encountered them closely it sounded like we were in some kind of horror movie.


Click here for some howling!

The howling is usually used to show other troops that the territory is already taken and other troops around are responding to it. This normally happens in the morning - around 4:30 am - and at the end of the day when the sun is going down. Did you know that these monkeys are considered to be among the loudest animals on Earth?

Group of howler monkeys

They use their tails as an extra arm to grip or hang from branches which is particularly helpful because they prefer to stay up in the trees and munch their leaves, fruits, nuts and flowers.


All the water they need comes from the food they eat, so normally there is no need to leave the forest canopy unless during very dry spells.



A troop of howler monkeys usually consists of eight to twelve females, three or four dominant males and several young. In Costa Rica, howler monkey sightings are common as they inhabit many of the country’s national parks and reserves, including Corcovado National Park, the dry forests of Santa Rosa National Park, Arenal Volcano National Park and the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve.


The females mate with whichever in the group they find suitable. The gestation period lasts about six months and most of the females are giving birth a single offspring. An infant howler will cling to its mother’s belly for about a month and then catch a ride on her back. Mothers nurse their young for up to a year and have been known to care for abandoned or injured howler babies on occasion.

They stay in the group until they are old enough to breed.


Female with her child

Altogether there are 11 to 12 species of howler monkeys, but Costa Rica is only home to the common mantled howler.

As we said before they can often be spotted, but they are also in decline due to habitat loss, road and power line accidents. Their population here in Costa Rica is estimated at around 100.000. What we really like about them is the fact, that they are herbivores and live on a plant-based diet, like we do.


Sources:

National Geographic, Britannica, Animals Network, costarica.com, Wikipedia


All pictures | sounds © The Vegan Pirates