The black howler monkey (Alouatta caraya) is a species of howler monkey. It is a large New World monkey. It is found in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil and Paraguay. It lives in groups of 3 to 19 individuals (usually 7 to 9). There are usually 1 to 3 males for every 7 to 9 females in a group. When mating, males and females within a single group pair off.
Named for their vocalizations, they may be heard most often around sunrise. This “dawn chorus” sounds much more like roaring that howling, and it announces the howlers’ position as a means to avoiding conflict with other groups. The call can be heard up to 3 miles (5 km) away.
These monkeys commonly sleep or rest up to 80% of the day. It is one of the least active monkeys in the New World. Their habitat is forest where they eat mostly leaves, but also will eat the occasional fruit, such as figs. They generally prefer walking and climbing to running or leaping. The prehensile tail is very strong and acts as a fifth limb. The tail allows the monkeys greater versatility when climbing and gives them greater safety in the occasional fall from a high branch. They spend most of their time in the trees and only come down for water during dry spells. The monkeys drink by wetting their hand on a moist leaf and then licking the water of their hand. Their lifespan is up to 20 years, but more commonly 15 years in the wild.