There are so many species of monkeys in the Amazon rain forest that scientist have not yet discovered all of them. In fact, in early 2009 a brand-new species, Mura’s tamarin, was found in a remote part of Brazil—and it’s already considered to be an imperiled species because of habitat loss due to the logging and burning of the rain forest.

One thing most monkeys in the Amazon rain forest—and throughout the rainforests of South and Central America—have in common is a prehensile tail. “New World” monkeys use their long prehensile tails as a fifth arm or leg to wrap around tree branches.

The “Old World” monkeys of the African and Asian rain forests lack this handy adaptation. Common types of monkeys in the Amazon rain forest include tamarins, howler monkeys, spider monkeys, capuchin monkeys, squirrel monkeys and marmosets.

Dozens of species of tamarins inhabit American rain forests from Costa Rica through the southernmost parts of the Amazon and Brazil’s dwindling Atlantic Coast forest. Most tamarins are small—about the size of a squirrel—and some of them are quite strange in appearance.

The nine species of howler monkey are the largest monkeys in the Amazon and other rainforests of the New World. Howlers have the distinction of being the loudest land animal in the world: Their territorial calls can be heard up to three miles away. Howlers live in family groups of up to 18 members.

Rain forests from Mexico through the southern Amazon and Brazil’s Atlantic Coast are home to more than a dozen species of spider monkey. which get their name from their extremely long arms, legs, and prehensile tails. Three spider monkey species, the brown-headed spider monkey (Aleles fusciceps), the brown spider monkey (Aleles hybridus) and the northern muriqui (Brachyteles hypoxanthus) are critically endangered, with habitat loss as the cause in all three cases. Spider monkeys are fairly large rainforest animals, weighing up to 11 kilos (24 pounds). They live in groups of up to several dozen that split into smaller groups to look for food during the day, and then reunite in the evening. Spider monkeys have a brain larger than that of a howler monkeys, and they are considered to be one of the most intelligent of all the Amazon rainforest monkeys.

Emperor Tamarin. Photo:MiaZinkova

Emperor Tamarin.

 Rain Forest Monkeys: Howlers

Brown Howler Monkey. Photo:Dario Sanches

Brown Howler Monkey.  

Howler Monkeys Sounding Off. Photo:Stevehdc

Black Howler Monkeys  

Amazon Spider Monkeys

Spider Monkey. 

Rainforest Capuchin Monkeys

Capuchin Monkey. Photo:Whalender Endo

Capuchin Monkey.  

Amazon Squirrel Monkeys

Squirrel Monkey. Photo:Marieke Kuijpers

Squirrel Monkey.

Rain Forest Marmosets

Wied's Marmoset. Photo: Grendel Ikhan

Wied’s Marmoset.

This entry was posted in Monkeys, Wild Species and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Pingback: Victory at Harvard; to Close Primate Facility after Pressure from PCRM | Sunset Daily

  2. Pingback: Suriname, 15th day, Brownsberg | Dear Kitty. Some blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s