Sunday, December 2, 2012

Black Howler Monkeys - Amazon, Brazil

A photograph of a Black Howler Monkey taken in the Brazilian Amazon
Howler Monkey (Alouatta caraya) - Amazon, Brazil

The first animals we saw at our lodge on the Rio Negro were two baby Howler Monkeys. Their mothers had been shot for bush meet and the staff at the lodge had brought the babies to the lodge to care for them. They were allowed to roam around all day and were only locked up in a small room for the night.

more photographs of them inside.
Howler Monkey (Alouatta caraya) - Amazon, Brazil

Howler monkeys are supposed to be the noisiest animals in the world and are named after their loud guttural howls that they make at sunrise and sunset. Their calls can be heard from 3 miles away through dense rainforest. Fortunately for us these two didn't make too much noise except for when they were locked up in the night.

A photograph of a Black Howler Monkey taken in the Brazilian Amazon
Howler Monkey (Alouatta caraya) - Amazon, Brazil

The males use their voices to defend their territory. Their howls are answered by other males in the area. Everyday starts and ends with the males identifying where their closest competitors are. Their diet consists of young leaves which are not very nutritious. Finding these young leaves is a priority and they need to defend their territory to protect their food sources. If there aren't as many Howlers in an area, their calling routine changes and they call out to each other only a few times a week as opposed to everyday.

A photograph of a Black Howler Monkey taken in the Brazilian Amazon
Howler Monkey (Alouatta caraya) - Amazon, Brazil

These photographs were taken with a Canon 7D and the 100-400mm lens. I was actually lying down on the ground to take some of these photographs from the monkey's eye level. They were quite used to people so getting close to them wasn't very difficult.  One of the babies walked up to me, curled up with his arms legs and tail around my foot and had a 30 minute nap!





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