Last Reviewed and Updated on January 21, 2023
Uakari monkeys are one of the most unique looking of all the monkey species; to add to that, they also have some unique traits. They are also one of the least known monkey species in South America, and some of the subspecies were only recently discovered. Read on and find out more about these monkeys, as well as some of the most interesting facts about uakari monkeys that set these primates apart from others.
About Uakari Monkeys
Uakari monkeys are a group of New World monkeys native to the Amazon rainforest (South America). They are arboreal animals, meaning they live in trees and are typically found along rivers and in flooded forests.
There are a few different species of the uakari, some discovered pretty recently, but they can generally be divided into two groups of monkeys;
- Bald uakari (red faces)
- Black-headed uakari species group (dark faces)
All species are roughly the same size, with head and body lengths of about 18 inches / 45 cm.
Generally, uakari monkeys eat seeds, fruits, flowers, and insects, but their diet can change depending on the species and the season. They are also known to eat small animal prey such as fish, lizards…
When they reproduce, the female usually has one offspring per breeding season when she mates.
Facts about uakari monkeys
You learned some of the basic information about this peculiar species; now let’s see what the things that make these monkeys truly special are. Read on and explore some of the most interesting facts about uakari monkeys.
1. Uakari has a unique tail length among New World monkeys
New World monkeys usually have long tails even longer than their bodies, and some even have prehensile tails (they use it as a fifth limb for moving around).
The length of the tail of the uakari is substantially less than their head and body length.
2. They have a bald face
The Bald Uakari got the name for a good reason. Their bodies are covered with long loose hair. However, their heads are bald, exposing their skin.
They also have very little fat on their faces, giving them a skull-like appearance.
3. The bald uakari has the most strikingly red facial skin of any primate
No other monkey or primate has as vividly red skin on its face as the Bald Uakari.
Their faces are read due to the lack of skin pigments, and the capillaries that run under the facial tissue give this monkey its distinct facial color.
4. Female bald uakari choose the males based on how red the male’s face is
The color of their face reflects their health; the more vivid the color is, the higher the chances the male is healthy. Females will avoid males with pale faces.
5. They prefer to live in seasonally flooded areas
Uakari is arboreal, meaning they spend most of their time in tree canopies. Their preferred habitat often gets flooded during the rainy season, with water rising high, so an arboreal lifestyle is a must.
6. They can eat nuts that most other primates aren’t able to crack
Their jaw evolved in a special way that allows the uakari to open hard surfaces of unripe fruits and nuts,
7. They live in both small and large groups
These monkeys have been observed living in both small groups consisting of just a few individuals and large groups (troops) with up to 100 individuals.
8. They travel low but forage high
When traveling across the forest, they prefer to move in the lower branches of the trees. When feeding, they will also go up to the tree’s canopy.