By appearing only at nighttime, night monkeys are one of the most intriguing mammals on earth. Read to know some interesting facts and amazing information on night monkeys.

Night Monkey Facts

Talk about monkeys in any gathering and the discussion creates interest and excitement amongst everyone present. Monkeys are one of those rare species that can put anyone into a great mood with just the mention of their name. Well, that was about the general ‘monkey’ term. Let’s move forward and begin enlightening you with some information on night monkeys. Does that raise your eyebrows as you read ‘night monkeys’? Isn’t it supposed to be owls that are always associated with the night time? Sure they are, but this particular specie of monkeys has a nocturnal lifestyle which makes them one of the most interesting and captivating mammals existing on earth and declaring them the talk of the town. What is it that gives them a distinct image from the rest of the monkey family? While the entire animal kingdom (except a few!) retires to its residence as the last rays of the sun touch the earth, night monkeys are those creatures who come out of their cocoon at dusk to begin their day. Widely distributed across the forests of Central and South America, these little monkeys create a chalk full of entertainment after sunset. Dig into the article further as it gives you some amazing and fascinating facts about night monkeys.
Facts About Night Monkey
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Primates
Suborder: Haplorrhini
Infraorder: Simiiformes
Parvorder: Platyrrhini
Family: Aotidae
Genus: Aotus
Species: A. lemurinus, A. azarae
Group Name: Troop
Length: 12-16.5 inches
Tail: 11.5-17.5 inches
Weight: 32-34 ounces
Lifespan: 11 years in wild, up to 20 years in captivity
Diet: Omnivore
Habitat: Tropical rainforests 
Age of Sexual Maturity: 2.5 years
Gestation Period: 126-133 days
Number of Offspring: 1
Interesting & Amazing Information On Night Monkeys
  • The night monkey is also known by the names lemurine night monkey, douroucoulis, and owl monkey.
  • The natural habitat of night monkey is the thick rainforests of Central and South America, stretching from Costa Rica to Panama to Paraguay to northern Argentina.
  • Because it is active at night, the night monkey is termed as a true nocturnal monkey, although it has been spotted at dawn looking for food occasionally.
  • With a small and rounded face, it gives the resemblance of an owl, thereby being termed as the owl monkey.
  • The big brown eyes make them capable of being active and hunting in the darkness of the night.
  • The small dark ears that are almost invisible and a long, two colored black tipped prehensile tail, coupled with those huge gorgeous eyes make the night monkey a very attractive animal.
  • Based on their coloration, night monkeys are divided into two different groups. They have gray-tan to brown colored bodies with either gray or red fur on their neck sides. The stomach, underarms, and inner legs are characterized by a pale yellow to orange fur, while the area above and below their eyes has light gray to white markings. Besides, three black stripes run parallel to their eyebrows from the top of their head down to the forehead.
  • Depending upon the altitudes they are found, their coats vary in thickness and length. Species living at higher elevations have thicker shaggier coats compared to those residing at sea level.
  • Night monkeys are generally frugivorous as their meal mainly consists of fruits. However, they also like feeding on flowers, nuts, insects, barks, gums, leaves, and small vertebrates, with an occasional treat on the nectar, for a change.
  • The night monkey is an arboreal animal, which means that it lives high in the trees to protect itself from predators. Though it is usually found high in the mountainous cloud forests reaching to about 11,000 feet, it can occasionally be seen scavenging in the lowlands also.
  • It is preyed upon by arboreal cats, birds of prey, boa constrictors, and human beings.
  • Night monkeys are monogamous and hence, are always spotted in pairs. But they travel in small groups, consisting of a male and female, accompanied by their offspring, generally 1 to 3 in number.
  • They can see only monochrome, which means that they do not possess color vision. As such, they mark their territory by scent and defend it using their vocal calls. Nonetheless, their night vision is excellent which deems them to be expert hunters.
If you happen to make a visit to the Amazon region and plan a night safari, do not forget to keep your eyes wide open to spot the great big eyes reflecting light in the dark. That’s the night monkey for you!

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