Titi Monkey Facts – Animals of South America

Titines are small monkeys with a rabbit’s tail and non-prehensile Callicebinae . They are found in the South American states of Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, Colombia and Paraguay. Most of them live in tropical and humid subtropical forests because their diet consists mainly of vegetation.

  1. Physical description

The Titi monkeys mostly have a reddish, brownish or blackish fur, although the nuances may vary depending on the species. The fur is long, thick and soft, with a slightly bristly appearance, and with lighter shades on the lower side.

They have long hind limbs. They have relatively short adaptive canines to feed on vegetation and fruit. The tail is hairy and not prehensile. The female tail can vary from 36-64cm in length while that of the males varies from 39-50cm.

Male monkeys vary in weight from 850g-1200g (1.9-2.6lb), while females range from 700-1020g (1.5-2.2lb). The length of the female body ranges from 29-42cm, while that of the males from 30-45cm.

They move walking, climbing and jumping (quadruped). They are rarely seen on the ground while they live in the trees in search of vegetation. When they are on the ground, they move quite quickly.

  1. Diet

Their diet consists mainly of fruits ( frugivores ) although they also feed on leaves, insects, bird eggs and small vertebrates. They feed mainly on unripe fruits from small trees. They eat insects like cocoons, butterflies, moths, spiders and ants. A large part of their diet is also leaves, especially young leaves, and leaf buds, which are a source of protein.

Basically they don’t need to drink water while they get it from their food. The fruits and leaves have a high water content which is sufficient to satisfy their thirst. Some species, however, are known to drink water from rivers and streams.

  1. Habitat and Range

The Titi monkeys inhabit the South American states of Colombia, Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, Paraguay and Peru. Different species are native to these states depending on factors such as climate, vegetation cover and altitude.

In Brazil, for example, the species found are C.baptista, C. bernhardi, C. cinerascenes and C. Moloch . The species found in Bolivia are C.donacophilus and C. aureipalatti inhabiting the northwestern parts of Bolivia. Other species are found in Bolivia, Brazil and Peru C. brunneu , C. enathe and C.cupreus. C.discolor is found in Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Brazil.

  1. ornatusis found only in eastern Colombia while C. pallescensis the only titi monkey species found in Paraguay.

Titi monkeys prefer inhabited areas with dense vegetation such as forest edges, swamps, rainforests, dikes, thickets, etc. They like forests, free edges and secondary growth and spots, which are found in the middle of the savannahs and near the rivers. They move into their habitats to look for fruits because most of the fruits they consume are seasonal.

Different species have distinct habitat preferences. For example, C.donacophilus inhabits open grasslands and savannas while C. cinerascens prefers woods and dense forests.

  1. Behavior

The Titis live in camps consisting of at least two members up to a maximum of seven, with the male having some degree of leadership in these groups. They are monogamous in nature and have only one mating companion for life. The male takes care of children, protects them and only gives them to the mother for breastfeeding.

These monkeys are active mainly during the day until sunset when they retire. During the hot season, there is a lot of fruit that makes them get up early to feed and in the colder season, they tend to sleep more because the fruits are hard to find during this period.

Their beds are on the branches found approximately 15 meters from the ground. Members sleep close to each other and generally weave their tails and huddle together.

They have small domestic ranges; therefore, they do not show a remarkable curiosity. They are reluctant to face new situations. Since they are territorial, they use a variety of vocalizations to define, protect their borders and strengthen their territory.

The Titi monkeys can peacefully coexist with other primates such as squirrel monkeys, owl monkeys, tamarins, among others. The larger species of primates would compete with the titins for food, especially the larger fruit trees, and the titles would be hunted completely.

Their communication is characterized by sharp and low squeaks, trills, chirps and grunts. In the face of threats and violence, they communicate with high-pitched sounds, while lower sounds are often used in communication between them and with other social groups in the habitat. They complain during mating, affection and greeting.

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