Fun Black Howler Monkey Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
Jan 09, 2023 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Aug 06, 2021
Edited by Isobel Murphy
Fact-checked by Sonali Rawat
Black howler monkey facts are as interesting as the animal itself.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.6 Min

Black howler monkeys are a species native to the deciduous and arid forests of southern Brazil Paraguay, Bolivia, and northern Argentina. The two sexes exhibit sexual dimorphism as the color patterns differ between males and females.

They are quite well-built and sinewy, dwelling and hanging through vines and trees. They are herbivorous in nature and mostly consume the leaves of trees and vines, flowers, and other plant matter. They are also considered the biggest monkeys in the Latin rainforests.

Although their cry is extremely loud and defeating, they are domesticated by some people. They seldom bite or get hostile and are quite friendly towards humans. The chances of these animals getting aggressive only depend on whether they are provoked or not.

According to IUCN, the conservation status of this species of black howler monkeys is Least Concern. Researchers do not think that they are under threat, however, their natural habitat keeps getting degraded due to human advancement, thus posing a threat to their natural territory.

If you like what you read do check out these drill monkey facts and black spider monkey facts too.

Black Howler Monkey Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a black howler monkey?

The black howler monkey (Alouatta caraya) is a kind of primate or monkey.

What class of animal does a black howler monkey belong to?

This species of monkeys belongs to the class of mammals, falling under the class Mammalia.

How many black howler monkeys are there in the world?

Currently, the exact number of these howlers remains unknown. Their population has been severely depleting over the years owing to rampant rainforest destruction. Though the population is rapidly decreasing, these monkeys are widely scattered across their range of habitat.

Where does a black howler monkey live?

Howler monkeys thrive in the central and southern regions of South America. These are New World monkeys that are widely found across countries like Bolivia, Brazil, Belize, Paraguay, Argentina, and Mexico. Since this monkey is seen in the rainforests of Mexico, it is also called the Mexican black howler monkey.

What is a black howler monkey's habitat?

Black and gold howler monkeys are concentrated in arid spaces. Tropical deciduous forest and woods with broad leaves serve as the perfect habitat for these monkeys. They also live in groups in moist woodlands and bushes with patches of tropical savannas and swamped grasslands.

Who do black howler monkeys live with?

Black howler monkeys form a group of three to 19 individuals. The number of members in a group is between seven and nine on average.

These monkeys can be kept under the care of people as pets or in zoos. One group of this mammal generally has one to three adult male members along with multiple females. Many people wish to keep these animals as a pet thanks to their gentleness.

How long does a black howler monkey live?

The lifespan of this black and gold monkey is nearly 15 years in the wild. Under the care of people, these animals can live up to 20 years. They spend most of their time sleeping.

How do they reproduce?

Females of this species reproduce every two years, with a gestation period of almost 180 days. Usually polyamorous in nature, they reproduce with numerous partners. Males attain sexual maturity at the age of five, while females do so at the age of four.

What is their conservation status?

The IUCN has listed this primate as a species of Least Concern. Their population is widely decreasing in the wild.

Black Howler Monkey Fun Facts

What do black howler monkeys look like?

These black howler monkeys exhibit sexual dimorphism as males are blackish in color whereas females are slightly blonde. The hairless prehensile tail of the primate acts like a limb, thus helping them to climb trees, leap around and most importantly maintain their balance.

The tail plays an active part in their movement and balance. They are five-toed.

Their prehensile tail along with their four limbs can make it a little difficult for them to move around on the ground. They come down to drink water or at times for food, but mostly stay in the tree branches.

The hyoid bone creates an obstacle for arm movement, thus making these monkeys more dependent on their prehensile tails. The upper molars are mostly used for crushing fruits like figs and leaves.

How cute are they?

They are not considered cute but are kept as pets by many people thanks to their gentle nature.

How do they communicate?

These black and gold monkeys communicate with each other using a howl that can be heard from a distance of 3 mi (4.8 km). The black howler monkey sound is the loudest among all monkey species.

Males make howling calls to awake the other members of their group every morning. This is a strategical behavior that the adult monkeys use to define and defend, as well as claim their territory. Males also flick their tongues to attract females during the mating and gestation period.

How big is a black howler monkey?

A black and gold howler monkey (Alouatta caraya) has a body length of 1.84-2.98 in(56 – 91 cm). Their long prehensile tails are about 20-30 in (50.8-76.2 cm) long.

While standing on their feet they measure 22-36 in (55.9-91.4 cm). Males are almost one and a half times larger than females. They are about the same size as a Colobus monkey.

How fast can a black howler monkey move?

Black howlers can reach the speed of 18 mph (28.9 kph). Usually, they spend time walking and running on the ground, climbing, or jumping and swinging across trees in groups.

Their long tails are very strong and almost act like a fifth limb.

This allows howlers to swing across a long range in groups with much ease and also reduces the danger of them falling off from high branches. The fastest monkey is considered to be the patas monkey, which can run at the speed of 33 mph (53 kph).

How much does a black howler monkey weigh?

Black howlers weigh about 8.8- 22.0 lb (4-10 kg). Males are usually 3.3 - 4.4 lb (1.5 - 2.0 kg) heavier and larger than female howlers. A black howler almost weighs more or less the same as other howler monkeys.

What are their male and female names of the species?

There is no name for a male black howler monkey or a female one.

What would you call a baby black howler monkey?

There is no specific name given to the young monkeys of this species. Young monkeys of the black howler monkey species are just referred to by their common name.

What do they eat?

The average black howler monkey diet generally includes foliage while living in forests which is why they are folivores. When they live in forests their diet includes leafy foods that range from fruits and nuts to leaves and flowers.

It has been seen that if these monkeys get a proper diet and food and a proper shelter to live in, they can thrive for up to 20 years.

Rather than drinking lots of water, they fulfill their water requirements from the water they obtain from the food they consume. It is a rare scene when they approach the ground and search for water.

Are they poisonous?

No, they are not poisonous in nature. They do possess any kind of threat to human beings.

Would they make a good pet?

Normally they are not kept as pets as they howl loudly in a group and can create a disturbance to people. But for their gentle behavior, some people do keep them as pets.

Did you know...

The Guatemalan black howler monkey (scientific name: Alouatta caraya) is the largest monkey species among all black howlers.

They rub their skin against branches to demarcate their zones.

This animal, which is the largest terrestrial monkey, contains 15 different species.

These monkeys are nowadays considered as New World monkeys.

Each morning male black howler monkeys living in a territory make loud calls after assembling in a group.

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.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these baboon facts and gibbon facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable black howler monkey coloring pages.

northeastern argentina eastern bolivia eastern and southern brazil paraguay southern mexico central and south america guatemala and belize

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Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

Moumita Dutta picture

Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

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Fact-checked by Sonali Rawat

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature, Masters of Art specializing in English and Communication Skills

Sonali Rawat picture

Sonali RawatBachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature, Masters of Art specializing in English and Communication Skills

Sonali has a Bachelor's degree in English literature from Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University and is currently pursuing a Master's in English and Communication from Christ University. With considerable experience in writing about lifestyle topics, including travel and health, she has a passion for Japanese culture, especially fashion, and anime, and has written on the subject before. Sonali has event managed a creative-writing festival and coordinated a student magazine at her university. Her favorite authors are Toni Morrison and Anita Desai.

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