Night monkey or owl monkey. By hejrazdvatri |
Night monkey or owl monkey. By hejrazdvatri |

About Peruvian night monkeys.

It is one of the least known and studied of all the New World monkeys.

The color of its fur ranges from grey to shades of brown, but it has a characteristic bright orange chest that distinguishes it from other nocturnal monkeys.

They spend their lives in trees without descending to the ground.

They are monogamous animals (with only one mate) that live in family groups comprising 2-6 members.

Humans are these animals’ main threat because of habitat loss, but their main natural predators are wild cats, snakes and birds of prey.

There are 11 species of night monkeys, divided into two groups depending on the color of their neck/chest: red or grey. Out of all these species, the Andean night monkey is one of the most endangered.

Peruvian night monkeys, as their name implies, are nocturnal, and they are especially active during dawn and dusk. In the daytime they rest in tree holes.

They have very large eyes that help them see in the dark (that is why they are also called “owl monkeys”), extremely small ears (that is why their genus name is Aotus, meaning “earless”) and a long tail that helps them move through dense vegetation.

They are the only New World monkeys with monochromatic vision (they cannot distinguish colors), probably because of their nocturnal life.

Every family group occupies its own territory, defined using scent marks. They defend their territories from intruders through vocalization.

Night monkeys only have one baby per year. The female takes care of the baby for the first week, but then the male takes over completely.

They can make a wide variety of vocal sounds to communicate, divided into several categories of calls: gruff grunts, resonant grunts, screams, low trills, moans, gulps, hoots and squeals.

Night monkey, South America. By Mogens Trolle |
Night monkey, South America. By Mogens Trolle |
Peruvian night monkey or peruvian owl monkeyVulnerable
Aotus miconax35 cm (13,7 in)
Aotidae68-181 kg (150-400 lbs)
Primates11-20 years
Mammalia4 months
UnknownMainly fruitarian, but it also eats leaves, sprouts and insects.
They inhabit cloud forests at altitudes between 900 and 2800 m (3,000-9,200 ft).Peru, areas in the Amazonas, Huanuco and San Martin.


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