A Picture of a Howler Monkey

Howler Monkey Facts

  • Name: Howler Monkey
  • Genus: Alouatta
  • Type Species: Simia belzebul
  • Total Species: 15
  • Lifespan: 15 to 20 years (wild)
  • Diet: Omnivorous (plants and animal matter)
  • Range: South and Central America

18 Howler Monkey Facts for Kids

  1. The howler monkey is a common name for fifteen species of monkeys that are members of the genus Alouatta in the subfamily Alouatta.
  2. The color of a howler monkey varies by species, including but not limited to black, brown, tan and orange.
  3. Howler monkeys are classified as New World monkeys.
  4. Howler monkeys are native to South and Central America.
  5. Howler monkeys are technically omnivores because they will occasionally eat eggs from a bird’s nest.
  6. A howler monkey can live between 15 and 30 years in the wild.
  7. A howler monkeys’ tail is extremely long, and in some situations, it can be up to five times their body length.
  8. Howler monkeys have an amazing sense of smell and can detect food over a mile away.
  9. Howler monkeys can be found living in groups with six to 15 different individuals. These groups usually contain one to three males with the rest being females or offspring.
  10. Howler monkeys are known for their vocal forms of communication.
  11. You can hear howler monkeys vocalizing up to three miles away.
  12. The hyoid bone of a howler monkey is what gives them the ability to make these loud vocalizations.
  13. The black howler (Alouatta caraya) monkey can spend up to 70% of its day sleeping.
  14. The Guatemalan black howler (Alouatta pigra) is the largest howler monkey species and it’s one of the largest monkeys classified as a New World monkey.
  15. The Venezuelan red howler (Alouatta seniculus) monkey was the first howler monkey observed to apparently use a tool. In 1997, it was observed using a stick to attack a Linnaeus's two-toed sloth that was in its tree.
  16. The mantled howler (Alouatta palliata) monkey lives in groups much larger than other howler monkey species. There have been reports of groups with over 40 individuals in it.
  17. There are several species of howler monkeys that are critically endangered, including the Azuero howler (Alouatta coibensis trabeata) and the Mexican howler (Alouatta palliata mexicana).
  18. Human actions are threatening many species of howler monkeys due to hunting, habitat destruction and for use as pets or in zoos.

Additional Resources on Howler Monkeys