Golden-mantled howling monkey, Common mantled howler, Ecuadorian mantled howling monkey, Northern mantled howler, South Pacific blackish howling monkey, Southern mantled howler, Mantled howler
The mantled howler (Alouatta palliata ) is a species of howler monkey, a type of New World monkey, from Central and South America. It is one of the monkey species most often seen and heard in the wild in Central America. It takes its "mantled" name from the long guard hairs on its sides.Show More
The mantled howler is one of the largest Central American monkeys, and males can weigh up to 9.8 kg (22 lb). It is the only Central American monkey that eats large quantities of leaves; it has several adaptations to this folivorous diet. Since leaves are difficult to digest and provide less energy than most foods, the mantled howler spends the majority of each day resting and sleeping. The male mantled howler has an enlarged hyoid bone, a hollow bone near the vocal cords, which amplifies the calls made by the male, and is the reason for the name "howler". Howling allows the monkeys to locate each other without expending energy on moving or risking physical confrontation.
The mantled howler lives in groups that can have over 40 members, although groups are usually smaller. Most mantled howlers of both sexes are evicted from the group they were born in upon reaching sexual maturity, resulting in most adult group members being unrelated. The most dominant male, the alpha male, gets preference for food and resting places, and mates with most of the receptive females. The mantled howler is important to the rainforest ecology as a seed disperser and germinator. Although it is affected by deforestation, it is able to adapt better than other species, due to its ability to feed on abundant leaves and its ability to live in a limited amount of space.Show Less
Diurnal animals are active during the daytime, with a period of sleeping or other inactivity at night. The timing of activity by an animal depends ...
A herbivore is an animal anatomically and physiologically adapted to eating plant material, for example, foliage, for the main component of its die...
In zoology, a folivore is a herbivore that specializes in eating leaves. Mature leaves contain a high proportion of hard-to-digest cellulose, less ...
Arboreal locomotion is the locomotion of animals in trees. In habitats in which trees are present, animals have evolved to move in them. Some anima...
Terrestrial animals are animals that live predominantly or entirely on land (e.g., cats, ants, snails), as compared with aquatic animals, which liv...
Among animals, viviparity is the development of the embryo inside the body of the parent. The term 'viviparity' and its adjective form 'viviparous'...
Polygyny is a mating system in which one male lives and mates with multiple females but each female only mates with a single male.
A dominance hierarchy (formerly and colloquially called a pecking order) is a type of social hierarchy that arises when members of animal social gr...
NoNot a migrant
Animals that do not make seasonal movements and stay in their native home ranges all year round are called not migrants or residents.
The Mantled howler monkeys are native to Central and South America. The animals are so called due to exhibiting long, guard hairs on both of their sides. These primates belong to the group of New World monkeys. They have black colored, furless face with a beard as well as a prehensile tail with a naked pad, found on the underside, at its base. Mature individuals are distinguished by black and brown/blonde saddles. Infants, on the other hand, display silver to golden brown overall coloration, which gradually changes, finally turning to the adult pattern at one year old.
The natural range of Mantled howlers occupies southern Mexico and southern Guatemala, stretching to Central America as south as the west coast of Colombia and Ecuador. Preferred types of their habitat are lowland and montane rainforests such as primary and regenerated forests.
The mantled howler monkeys exhibit a highly social behavior and a well-defined hierarchy system. They form groups of 10 - 20 individuals, including a single dominant male and multiple females, with whom it mates. The core of each group is composed of females, which generally live in the group throughout their lives. These monkeys are mainly tree-dwelling animals. When travelling among trees, they walk and climb the forest canopy, using all of their four limbs. They can often be seen hung from tree branches with their arms. When eating, they usually wrap their long tails around branches. As diurnal animals, they are active by day and sleep by night on horizontal branches of trees. These primates communicate with each other through a wide variety of calls such as barks, grunts, and woofs. Although they normally give out the famous howling calls at dusk and dawn, they can use this form of communication when disturbed.
Mantled howler monkeys are polygynous, which means that one male mates with multiple females. They don't display any particular breeding season and instead breed at any time of the year. However, most births occur in late December and January. Gestation period lasts for 6 months, yielding a single infant. The female will lick and carry her baby. After a while, she will carry the infant on her back. When traveling in this position, the baby typically grasps the base of its mother's tail. During the first 4 months, the infant is constantly with its mother, remaining within a distance of two meters. At 10 - 11 weeks old, the baby starts foraging independently. At this point, the young howler begins spending more and more time on its own. Males of this species are reproductively mature at 42 months old, whereas females are capable of producing offspring by 36 months old.
The population of Mantled howler monkeys as a whole currently faces loss, destruction and fragmentation of its forest habitat, which primarily concerns the Mexican subspecies, classified as Critically Endangered. If this continues, the Mantled howler monkeys will lose as much as 73 - 84% of their range during the following 30 years. Habitat fragmentation nowadays poses a number of serious threats for isolated populations of this species, including genetic problems, associated with continuous interbreeding as well as possible extinction, as a result of potential natural disasters of disease outbreaks.
As reported by the Pets on Mom. Me. Resource, the overall population of this species is currently over 11,000 monkeys, 1,300 of which inhabit protected areas and the remaining 10,200 are found outside protected areas. Currently, Mantled howler monkeys are classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List.
These monkeys disperse seeds of various plants they consume through their feces, thus highly benefiting the local ecosystem. Additionally, their feces are used by a number of dung beetles, which, in turn, help recycle nutrients from their feces into the soil.