Want to know more about the monkeys of the rainforests? Here are 20 rainforest monkeys that you can see in the world:
The capuchin is a New World Monkey that lives in the tropical forests across Central America and South America – all the way down to northern Argentina.
Capuchins can reach a length of 30-56 cm (12-22 in) excluding the tail that is just as long as the body. There are different species of capuchin, so the color of their fur and pattern can vary from whitish and buff to black and brown.
In the wild, a capuchin can live up to 25 years.
Red-Faced Spider Monkey
The red-faced spider monkey is a species of spider monkey found in the rainforests in northern South America. Mainly in northern Brazil, Suriname, French Guiana, Venezuela and Guyana.
It has long black hair and a pink hairless face. The infants are born with black faces, but they get brighter and more reddish in color as they age. Red-faced spider monkeys also have a prehensile tail, which means that they can use the tail as a fifth limb when swinging in the tree tops.
During the days they travel searching for food and during the nights they sleep in large groups called bands. Bands consists of several females and their babies, and also a few males for protection.
The white headed marmoset is endemic to the forests in eastern Brazil, mainly found in the lowland rainforests.
They are characterized by their black and brown fur, white faces and black ear tufts. They are about 20 cm (8 in) long plus a tail of around 29 cm (11 in). A white-headed marmoset can weight up to 380 grams (13 oz) and live up to 10 years in the wild.
Javan lutung is an Old World Monkey that’s endemic to the island of Java, and several of the surrounding islands in Indonesia.
These monkeys are characterized by their beautiful golden orange fur, pale faces and long tails.
They live in the rainforests where they mainly feed on fruits, flowers and leaves, but can also eat insect larvae. Like most other monkeys, the Javan lutung is a social animal and live in groups of several individuals.
Black Howler Monkey
The black howler monkey, also known as the black-and-gold howler monkey, is found in northeastern Argentina, eastern Bolivia, southern and eastern Brazil, and in Paraguay.
The males have black fur and the females and juveniles have a whitish to yellowish colored fur.
They live in large groups with up to 19 individuals. There are usually 1-3 males for every 7-9 females in a black howler monkey group.
These monkeys are well-known for their call that can be heard 5 km (3 miles) away.
In the Amazon rainforest lives the only nocturnal monkeys in the world – the night monkeys.
Yes, they are nocturnal and are active at night climbing around in the trees in search for fruits. During the day they rest in shaded areas or in holes up in the trees.
Night monkeys are characterized by their large brown eyes, small ears, thick fur, and long tails.
There are four species of woolly monkeys living in the rainforests of South America, mainly in Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela, and Peru. They are known for their thick brown fur and their long prehensile tails that they use as a fifth limb.
Woolly monkeys are quite big and weight around 7 kg. They live in relatively large groups of 10-45 individuals – all led by an alpha male.
These monkeys are today highly endangered. They are hunted by both eagles and various cat species, such as jaguars, but also by humans for food and illegal pet trade.
The lion tamarin got its name from the mane around the face, which looks similar to the mane of a lion. It’s a small New World Monkey that lives in the eastern rainforests of Brazil.
They weight up to 900 grams (32 oz) and can reach a body length of 30 cm (12 in) plus a 45 cm (18 in) long tail.
Lion tamarins eat small snakes, lizards, and various small fruits, but also insects that they find by digging in the bark with their long claws.
These small monkeys live in the tropical forests of Central- and South America, however, most species of squirrel monkey are found in the Amazon rainforest.
The squirrel monkey have short thick fur with yellow/orange colors on their back and hands, and a white color around their face and ears. They can reach a body length of 25-35 cm (9.8-13.8 in) with a 35-42 cm (14-17 in) long tail.
Squirrel monkeys live in large groups of up to 500 individuals. In the groups hey have a number of vocal calls to communicate and warn each other from potential threats.
Bald Uakari Monkey
The bald-headed uakari monkey is found near water in the western Amazon of Brazil and Peru. They are known for their red faces, bald heads and long shaggy fur.
They can reach a body length of 45 cm (18 in), and weight up to 3.5 kg (7.6 lb).
The bald uakari’s diet mainly consists of seeds, fruits and flowers, but can also eat small animals and insects if it cross their path.
The emperor tamarin is one of the worlds most famous rainforest monkeys, and that’s because of their appearance.
They have a grey colored fur with a yellow tone on their chests. The feet and hands are black and the tail is brown in color. What they are most famous for is their white beards, which looks like a long mustache.
They are quite small monkeys and reach a body length of around 26 cm (10 in) with a 41.5 cm (16.3 in) long tail. They only weight around 500 grams.
Emperor tamarins are found in the southwest Amazon Basin, north Bolivia, east Peru, and in Amazonas.
The titis are found in dense forests near water in Colombia, Brazil, Bolivia, Peru and Paraguay.
Since there are various species of the titi monkey the body length and color of their fur can vary. They have a body length of around 23-46 cm (9.1-18.1 in) and a tail that’s longer than their bodies.
They live in family groups that consists of the parents and their offspring, of around 2-7 animals in total. Titis are often seen in pairs sitting on branches with their tails entwined, which is a beautiful sight.
The pygmy marmoset is one of the smallest rainforest monkeys. They are native to the rainforests of the western Amazon Basin in Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia.
These monkeys have a specialized diet of tree gum. They make a hole in the bark of a tree and laps up the sap with its tongue. However, they also eat insects, nectar and fruit.
Pygmy marmosets are the worlds smallest primates. They have a body length of around 11-15 cm (4.6-6 in) and a tail longer than the body. An average pygmy marmoset weight around 100 grams (3.5 oz).
These small rainforest monkeys are found in wooded areas north of the Amazon River in Brazil, Suriname, Guyana, and French Guiana.
They can reach a body length of 28 cm (11 in), plus a tail of 31-44 cm (12-17 in). They have a dark brown or black fur with orange colored hands and feet. The face is hairless and they are also characterized by their big ears.
Red-handed tamarins are great climbers and jumpers. They can jump distances over 18 m (60 ft) from a tree to the ground with getting hurt.
The silvery marmoset lives in the eastern part of the Amazon rainforest in Brazil. They’re known for their beautiful silver-grey fur, dark tail and hairless orange-colored face and ears.
They are small rainforest monkeys and have a body length of around 18-28 cm (7.1-11 in) and weight around 300-400 g (11-14 oz).
During the night they sleep in close vegetation or tree hollows, and during the day they search for food. Their diet mainly consists of tree sap, but they also eat fruits, insects, small vertebrates and bird eggs.
The long-nosed monkey is one of the largest monkey species native to Asia. They have a body length of 66-76 cm (26-30 in) and weight around 16-22 kg (35-50 lb).
These rainforest monkeys are characterized by their orange to brownish fur and unusually large noses. It’s only the males that have these large noses, which can grow up to 10.2 cm (4 in) in length and hang over their mouths.
Proboscis monkeys are endemic to the island of Borneo, which is an island politically shared by Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei.
The wolf’s guenon is a colorful monkey that’s found in central Africa, mainly in Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo where they live in primary and secondary lowland rainforests and swamp forests.
They have a dark grey fur with a yellow underside, yellow ear tufts, and a big red-colored patch on their backs.
Wolf’s guenons are mainly frugivores, but also feed on seeds and insects for protein.
Brown Spider Monkey
Brown Spider Monkeys are today a critically endangered species of spider monkey, and are found in the tropical rainforests of northern Colombia and northwestern Venezuela.
Like all spider monkeys, they have long limbs and a long prehensile tail that they use as a fifth limb. The brown spider monkey have a brown-colored fur with a whitish patch on their forehead and on their belly.
Some brown spider monkeys have pale blue eyes, but it is very rare.
Venezuelan Red Howler
One of the most colorful rainforest monkeys is the Venezuelan red howler. It’s a species of howler monkeys found in the western Amazon Basin in Venezuela, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and Brazil.
They can reach a body length of 72 cm (28 in) and weight up to 9 kg (19.8 lb). The long prehensile tail is around 49-75 cm (19.2-29 in) long and is covered in fur except for the last part of the underside, which gives them a good grip around branches when climbing and swinging in trees.
They are folivores and mainly feed on leaves, but they also eat nuts, fruits, seeds, flowers, and small animals for a more nutritious diet.
The pied tamarin is a rare primate species found in a small area of the Amazon Rainforest in Brazil. Today they are critically endangered due to destruction of their habitat, but thankfully the species lives in several protected areas.
These small rainforest monkeys can reach 28 cm (11 in) in body length with a tail that is longer than the body. They have black faces and ears with a multi-colored fur on their bodies. The upper half of their bodies is white-colored and the bottom half is brown-reddish in color
Pied tamarins can live up to 10 years in the wild.
More about the monkeys in the rainforests
Rainforests are found along the equator where it is warm all year round and lots of rainfall. It’s a climate that allows many types of plats to grow and provides a home to a great variety of animals.
Some of the most playful inhabitants of the rainforests are monkeys. Most primate species are found in the Amazon Rainforest in South America, which is the largest rainforest in the world.
The abundance of trees and variety of food makes the rainforests a great home for monkeys. They spend most of their time up in the tree tops, because it keeps them safe from predators but also because that’s where they find most food.
They use their long arms and tails to swing from branch to branch, which makes them look like small acrobats.
Common threats to rainforest monkeys
Logging and deforestation is one of the biggest threats towards the rainforest monkeys, because it destroys their homes.
Another threat towards the monkeys is the illegal wildlife trade and indigenous people who hunt the monkeys for food.
What you can do to help the rainforest monkeys
- Raise awareness of the common threats to the rainforest monkeys
- Support reputable organizations that helps protecting their habitats
- Stop purchasing products that cause deforestation
Which rainforest monkey do you think is the most interesting? Leave a comment below!