By Marla Lise
Scientific Name: Lagothrix lagotricha
Woolly monkeys are found in most parts of the Amazon jungle. They are easily distinguished from other monkeys found here with their round heads and their dense fur. There are 4 species of woolly monkey found in South America.
You would think that it would be ridiculous for a monkey living in the heat and humidity of the jungle to have a thick fur coat, but this coat actually protects them against the sun, rain and insect stings high up in the jungle canopy.
Photo by Marla Lise
Woolly monkeys are found in a range of colours, including, grey, olive and brown. They are omnivores, meaning that they eat both meat and vegetables and fruit, although most of their diet is made out of fruit. Because they eat so much fruit, they are essential for the dispersal of fruit trees throughout the forest.
They can grow up to about 10kg, with the males being larger than the females. They have a prehensile tail, that helps them to grip onto branches and enable them to climb easily. The underside on the end of their tail is furless, and this gives them a better grip. Their tail therefore acts as a fifth limb.
Photo by Marla Lise
These creatures are social animals, moving in groups of 10 to about 45 individuals, led by an alpha male.
Unfortunately, woolly monkeys are hunted by both larger animals such as the jaguar and by humans. People eat these animals as well as kill them for their fur coats. They are also smuggled around the world as pets. Their habitat is also slowly being reduced as deforestation continues.
The woolly monkey has been classified as Vulnerable since 1992, and still remains today.
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All about Rainforests
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