The Virtual Rainforest
A Neotropical Rainforest
Rainforest Research


Tree Seedlings

Forest Flowers



Army Ants

Bullet Ants
Leafcutter Ants

Rhinoceros Beetle

Swallowtail Butterfly



Keel-billed Toucan

Howler Monkeys

White-faced Monkeys

Three-toed Sloth
Baird's Tapir
White-lipped Peccary
Reptiles and Amphibians:
Red-eyed Tree Frog
Poison Dart Frog
Helmeted Iguana
Eyelash Viper
Terciopelo Viper
Spectacled Caiman
American Crocodile
Human Systems:
Rainforest Boy
Rainforest Girl
Traditional Ecological Knowledge
Rainforest Research

About the Authors





Mantled Howler Monkeys (Alouatta palliata)

The Mantled Howler Monkey is the King of the Jungle in Central America. The booming voices of the males can be heard for miles as they tell other troops of monkeys to stay out of their territory.

Howler monkeys are friendly with each other, hanging out in big social groups, usually with 10-18 monkeys. They are herbivores, meaning they eat plants, both leaves and fruits.

Male howler monkeys are the loudest animals in the rainforest. An adult male has a big saggy chin that functions as a "resonating" chamber so he can howl. The howls can be heard for several miles in the rainforest, and allow the monkeys from one group to communicate with other groups. They communicate to defend their territories, telling other monkey groups not to come there because it is where they live.

Family of Howler MonkeysBaby Howler Monkey Explores the CanopyTry to count how many monkeys are in the picture to the left. There's a mother with her baby, and another mother with her baby. Four monkeys on the same branch. If you look at the top mother's right hand, you can see the little baby's hand too. Baby howler monkeys travel around on their mother's stomach or back for several months after they are born. However, the baby monkey on the right has decided to explore the forest canopy. The mother makes sure to stay nearby to warn the baby if a Harpy Eagle or other type of predator enters the area.


Alpha Male Howler Monkey

For comparison, check out the White-faced Monkey.

National Geographic has a short video on YouTube with more info about Howler Monkeys.


The Virtual Rainforest

Back to the Rainforest

Copyright Gerald R. Urquhart
Michigan State University

Students and teachers have permission to quote text and use images from this website in class assignments. Images may be used in classroom and academic presentations with notification of author. All other use should request permission.


Virtual Rainforest development supported by grant #0815966 from the
National Science Foundation

Center for Global Change and Earth Observation

Michigan State University