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Howler Monkey: The Rainforest's Loudest Animal printer.gif

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During one of the first mornings I spent in the rainforest, I woke up to a loud roar. It was a strong, forceful growl that started softly and started to get louder and louder. It sounded as if it was getting closer to me, so I ran out and searched the forest. I couldnot see anything through the dense trees and fog. I thought there was a Tyrannosaurs Rex on the loose!

Only later did I find out it was a howler monkey calling the rest of its troop. Before leaving, I had studied howler monkeys. I knew they made a loud roar, but nothing could have prepared me for my first real encounter.

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People believe that a howler monkey can be heard for 3-4 miles through the rainforest. They live in small groups of about 12 individuals, and they use their howl to communicate over large distances. Howler Monkeys don't travel very much. They prefer to stay within their small communities.

A Howler Monkey is the largest monkey found in the Americas, weighing about 15 lbs. They can grow to be 2 feet tall, but have a tail that is as long as their body.

Howler Monkeys are arboreal, meaning that they spend their whole lives in the tree tops. Howlers are also diurnal, meaning they're active during the daytime.

We will try to record the roar next time we hear howler monkeys. Until then, you can check out the following web sites for more information.

Wilderness Classroom's Rainforest Library

National Geograpic's Animal Facts, Photos, and Sounds

The Belize Zoo's Howler Monkey Page

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