Common Name: Howler Monkey
Scientific Name: Alouatta palliate

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Primates
Family: Alelidae
Genius: Alouatta
Species: A. palliate


The interesting spider monkey that I have had the opportunity to learn about is called the Alouatta palliate or golden-mantled howler monkey. This golden-mantled howler monkey is a black, tan, or brown monkey that has a scientific name of the Alouatta palliate. The Alouatta palliate (howler monkey) is a smaller type of monkey. This monkey has larger eyes when it’s an infant, but as it grows and begins to become older, they grown into their large eyes.

The Alouatta palliate monkey has a range of Central Asia, South America, and Southern Mexico, for example, the states of Veracruz, Campeche, Chiapas, Oaxaca, and Tabasco. From Honduras in Central America to Columbia and Western Ecuador I South America.  Also they could possibly be found in Southern Guatemala. These areas habitats are mostly forests that lie between sea level and 2500 meters. The howler monkeys can live in lowland and maintain rainforests.

This monkey is large and stocky looking. While this animal is large and stocky, it also has black fur; most individuals have long yellow or brown sandals.  They have long guard hairs on flanks; this animal common name is “mantled”, which means face with no fur or naked face.  They’re face is black and bearded, but there prehensile tail has a naked pad underside near its base, or “rear”.  The males that are usually larger than the females, they have prominent white scrotum and weigh up to 6 or 7 kilograms. These monkey females can weigh up to 4 or 5 kilograms, as the newborns weigh 0.4 kilograms. As these newborns weigh 0.4 kilograms they appear to be silver to golden brown.  The Alouatta palliates tails are about the size of 520 to 670 millimeters, while the babies’ length is about 380 to 580 millimeters.

Around 42 months, a female usually has its first baby (newborn).  When they breed, it’s year round.  Without apparent seasonal variation, the female participates in multiple matting’s before conception.  Their pregnancy is a normal pregnancy, unlike humans its 186 days or six months. They have babies every two years, unless an infant dies.  Then they will reproduce again sooner.

The behaviors of the young ones range from age and size. The first few weeks their clinging and nursing of their mothers, yet not leaving there side till at least five weeks. In their 10th or 11th weeks of life infants start exploratory feeding and spend a good amount of time away from their mother.

The males usually have a lifespan of at least seven years, and the females can live to about eleven or twelve. These small golden-mantled howler monkeys usually travel in large groups that have up to 20 monkeys in then. The number or males in these groups is 1 to 3, and the numbers of females in these groups are usually up to 5 or 10. Four females belong to 1 male. As this number of females decreases the males may use aggression to other males or just wonder off themselves. The males may remain solitary as long as four years, not entering a group until the alpha male is successfully challenged. They often use calls to communicate within each other; these calls include woofs, grunts, barks and howls. They communicate with howls happening at dusk and dawn, and in response to any threat. 

The food resources consist mainly of leaves, fruits, and flowers, and vary seasonally with resources availability. Flower eating is usually only during dry season, and fruits are usually eaten in only the wet season. The Alouatta palliate spends about the equal amounted positions of their feeding time eating leaves. This leaf grazing diet gives them access to niche relatively unexploited by other mammals. Other animals or competitors may impose significant pressure on availability leaf resources, such as the leaf-cutting ant Atta cephalotus. 

 I have learned a lot about this golden-mantled howler monkey. But I hope by reading this you will have learned something too. I have enjoyed researching and learning about this wonderful and beautiful animal. 

Author: Breanna B.
Published: 12/2012


Photo Credit: