Hailing From Central And South America, Owl Monkeys Are The Only Nocturnal Primates In The World, Weighing Just Over Two Pounds And Sporting Big, Adorable Eyes

Tereza - - illustrative purposes only, not the actual monkey

The owl monkey, or night monkey as it’s also called, is the only nocturnal primate species in the world. They hail from Central and South America, inhabiting either the tropical rainforests or the lowland forests of the region. There are 10 species of owl monkeys, and they are split into two groups.

According to the Wisconsin National Primate Research Center, one of the groups is known as the gray-necked, which are found north of the Amazon River. The other is the red-necked, and they are found south of the Amazon.

Owl monkeys weigh around 2.2 pounds. Their bodies are covered in thick, gray fur. Depending on the species, they may have orange fur on their chests and bellies.

Their most notable feature has to be their big, round eyes, which are perfect for seeing in low light. Compared to other monkey species that are active during the day, the lens of the owl monkey’s eyes is more spherical.

Usually, owl monkeys live in pairs or small groups. A biological anthropologist from Yale University named Eduardo Fernandez-Duque stated that pairs of male and female owl monkeys form strong bonds with each other. They are genetically monogamous and mate for life.

“Owl monkeys are one of the few mammals where we have absolutely no evidence of unfaithfulness; there’s not a single genetic data point that suggests that males and females in pair relationships—who sleep together, feed together, move together—are not exclusively mating with each other,” Fernandez-Duque said.

Furthermore, male owl monkeys make some of the world’s finest fathers. They are heavily involved in raising and protecting their offspring. Research shows that the males groom, play, share food, and carry infants more often than the mothers.

The nocturnal creatures enjoy a diet of fruit, seeds, flowers, leaves, and insects. On occasion, they have been known to eat bird eggs and small birds. They also have a wide range of vocal sounds.

Their “loud, low-frequency” calls sound like an owl’s hoot. As for their lifespan, they live for about 20 years in captivity. One monkey in the wild was observed to be 11 years old.

Tereza – – illustrative purposes only, not the actual monkey

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