Howler Monkey, (genus Alouatta), any of several tropical American monkeys noted for their roaring cries. Several species of howlers are widely distributed through Central and South America. These are the largest New World monkeys and generally attain lengths of about 40–70 excluding the 50–75-cm tail. Howlers are stoutly built bearded monkeys with a hunched appearance and thickly furred prehensile tails that are naked on the underside of the tip to afford a better grip. The hair is long and thick and, depending on species, is typically black, brown, or red. Howlers are characterized by expansion of the hyoid bone into a large shell-like organ in the throat that gives resonance to the voice. In connection with the enlarged hyoid, howlers have a large throat, protruding jaws, and high sloping faces.

Howler monkeys have beards and long, thick hair which may be black, brown, or red. The red howler species is the most common, but it is often targeted by hunters eager for bushmeat. Other species of howler monkey may be critically endangered over sections of their ranges.

The Black Howler Monkey (Alouatta caraya) is a species of howler monkey, from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil and Paraguay. It is the southernmost member of the Alouatta genus. The Black Howler Monkey lives in groups of 3 to 19 individuals (usually 7 to 9). There are usually 1 – 3 males for every 7 – 9 females in a group. When mating, males and females within a single group pair off.


Like other New World monkeys, howler monkeys have wide side-set nostrils and furred prehensile tails with naked tips that help the primates grip tree branches. Howler monkeys have beards and long, thick hair in shades of black, brown, or red, depending on sex and species. The monkeys are sexually dimorphic, with males 3 to 5 pounds heavier than females. In some species, such as the black howler monkey, mature males and females have different coat colors.

Howler monkeys are the largest New World monkeys, with head and body length averaging 22 to 36 inches. One characteristic of the species is its extremely long, thick tail. The average tail length is 23 to 36 inches, but there are howler monkeys with tails five times their body length. Adults weigh between 15 and 22 pounds.

What Do Howler Monkeys Look Like?

Howler monkeys are the largest new world monkeys belonging to the genus Alouatta. There are around fifteen discovered howler species of the genus and they have varied physical appearances with certain similarities. Howler monkey size ranges from 22-36 in (56-92 cm) long with a prehensile tail almost as long as its entire body. In some species, the tail is five times the size of the body and helps in picking fruits from trees or maintaining balance. The tail plays an important role in howler monkey adaptations as an arboreal primate. They have a large, rounded set of nostrils with a short snout. Their faces are covered with fur and the body contains large and thick hairs. Black howler monkeys exhibit sexual dimorphism. 

What Class Of Animal Does A Howler Monkey Belong To?

Howler monkeys are a kind of new world monkey, belonging to the class Mammalia and a part of the Atelidae family. The scientific name of the howler monkey is Alouatta.

How Many Howler Monkeys Are There In The World?

There are many different types of howler monkeys out there and an exact number of the group of howler monkeys is unknown at present.

Where Does A Howler Monkey Live?

Howler monkeys reside in both lower elevation and higher mountainous regions. They are mostly found in Central and South America in places like Mexico, Paraguay, Bolivia, Brazil, the western Amazon basin, northeastern Argentina, and other such regions.

What Is A Howler Monkey’s Habitat?

The howler monkey habitat mostly consists of forests. They usually prefer deciduous forests in the arid zones. They also can be seen in the broad-leafed forests containing dense canopy. They stay in the upper canopy which constitutes matured tree crowns in higher elevation. They are an arboreal primate. They rarely step onto the ground and mostly reside on the branches of the trees.

How Do They Reproduce?

Their troops contain one to three males along with several females. The males usually attract their suitable mates by making loud, distinctive calls. They are polygamous in nature where one male can mate with more than one female. The female usually gives birth to one offspring and takes care of them until they are independent. Females breed only once every year. Juveniles, especially males usually emigrate from their natal groups. The females are reported to be found in the same troop they are born in.

What Is Their Conservation Status?

According to the Internation Union for Conservation of Nature(IUCN), Brown Howlers, Red-handed howlers, and Mantled howlers are declared as Vulnerable species, the Yucatán Black Howler Monkey is declared Endangered, Black-and-gold Howler Monkey is declared Near Threatened, while the rest of them are declared as species of Least Concern. Their habitat solely consists of forest areas with trees in abundance. Hence the destruction of habitat due to human settlements, hunting, and confinement in the zoos are some major threats encountered by them.

Are Black Howler Monkeys Endangered?

They are under threat mostly by human activities but the IUCN has listed them as a species of Least Concern. Habitat destruction and hunting by humans both pose a serious threat to their population and people also kill them for their meat. Prolonged captivity also sometimes results in their death.

What’s Unique About Black Howler Monkeys?

These monkeys are the loudest terrestrial howlers in the Western Hemisphere. Their long and strong tail can help them in climbing trees.

How Cute Are They?

Their cuteness usually stems from their appearance. They are larger than other monkey species with a long prehensile tail. Their body is covered with hair and colors range from brown, red to black depending upon the species. They have large nostrils with a shorter snout. The howler monkey call is distinctive and loud. They are often considered to be the loudest land animals.

Leave a Reply

error: Content is protected !!
%d bloggers like this: