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Howler Monkey Facts: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Rebecca Gillaspy

Dr. Gillaspy has taught health science at University of Phoenix and Ashford University and has a degree from Palmer College of Chiropractic.

As you might guess from their name, howler monkeys have loud voices. Their loud calls can be heard throughout the forests where they live. Learn why the howler monkeys howl, what they eat and where they live.

The Noisy Howler Monkey

When a group of these monkeys get together, they have a howling good time! Howler monkeys are some of the loudest monkeys on the planet. Their call, which sounds like a howl or roar, is so loud that it can be heard three miles away. Howler monkeys use their powerful voices to mark their territory and warn other monkeys to stay away!

A howler monkey just hanging around
howler monkey

What Do They Look Like?

Howler monkeys have cute faces with expressive eyes and a nose and mouth that jut out from their faces. Both the males and the females look like they have beards because of the long hair that grows down from their chins. The monkeys are covered from head to toe with long hair that is black, brown or red in color.

A big, male howler monkey
howler monkey

Howler monkeys are fairly big monkeys. They weigh about 15 to 22 pounds, and their bodies are about 22 to 36 inches long. Their prehensile tails are as long as their bodies. The word prehensile is pronounced pre-hen-sil. Having a prehensile tail means it can be used to grab things, much like an extra hand! This handy tail helps the howler monkeys cling to tree branches, which is important because they spend all day in the trees.

Where Do They Live and What Do They Eat?

Howler monkeys live in the forests and rainforests of Central and South America.

They are social animals that live together in groups of 12 to 20 monkeys called troops. The troop has a leader, which is one of the older and more mature male monkeys.

All day and all night, the howler monkeys hang out in the treetops. They rarely come down out of the trees, but why would they? Their food is found in the trees.

A howler monkey at home in the trees
howler monkey

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