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MONKEYS: SPIDER - HOWLER

spider monkey

(Spider)

howler monkey

 (Howler)

There are only two different types of monkeys residing throughout the jungles of Belize, the Spider Monkey and the Howler Monkey. Although the Howler Monkey and the Spider Monkey are both found throughout Belize, they are not found only in Belize; their habitat ranges north into Mexico and south into the Amazon region in South America.

Though there is only two types of monkeys in Belize there is two genus of the Spider Monkey: the Black-Headed and the Geoffroy's. Each the Black-Headed and the Geoffroy's has at least one subspecies in Belize. The Howler Monkey on the other hand has only one species in Belize, called the Guatemalan Black Howler. The Black Howler is a part of the Mantled Howler Group.

As the names suggest the Black Howler and the Black Headed Spider Monkey are both black in color. However, the Geoffroy's Spider Monkey is caramel colored with a chocolate colored cap on its' head.

 The size of the Spider Monkeys in Belize are about the same for both species and weigh about 15 pounds with males being the largest. Other interesting body characteristics of the Spider Monkeys is that their tails, up to 33 inches in length, are longer then their bodies, which is an average of 25 inches long, their arms are 15 – 25 percent longer then their legs and they have no thumbs.

The Black Howler Monkey is by far the largest Monkey in Belize with males weighing about 25 pounds. Although the Howler Monkey is not the largest monkey in the world a Howler's howl can be heard for about 20 miles away, 4 times more then that of a lion's 5 mile voice range. This voice range of the Howler Monkey is said to make them the loudest land animal in the world.

The conservation status for monkeys in Belize is very good. Through conservation efforts in Belize monkeys are now rarely hunted. Due to Belize's slow development major habitat loss is not much of an issue. Actually one issue to the destruction of habitat is from nature itself as hurricanes are known to damage the rainforest canopy and put the monkeys in danger, though major hurricanes are fairly infrequent. Started in 1985, the Community Baboon Sanctuary Museum and Visitor’s Center is the best place in Belize to see monkeys, especially Howlers, “baboons,” as Belizean people call them. Day trips from Belize City out to the “Baboon Sanctuary,” the local name for the Sanctuary, is located at Bermudian Landing. The sanctuary has over 40,000 visitors a year and is a true community effort to help protect the monkeys.

Spider Monkeys are known to make good and popular pets in Belize and Central America. Howler Monkeys do not make good pets. It has been said that Howler Monkeys are the only Central American monkey to have never been kept in captivity by Native Americans. The Spider Monkeys of Belize have been kept as pets and are of no real threat to humans. However, as a tourist, it is best to simply observe both Spider's and Howler's in their natural habitat. Although they are so cute and adorable, monkeys in the wild have been known to throw items such as rocks, fruit and coconuts at people. Feeding or touching monkeys in the wild could bring harm to you as they are known to bite if they feel threatened, which can happen unexpectedly and for no apparent reason. Monkeys can be as dangerous as any other animal found in the wild.

 


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