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Definition of HOWLER MONKEY
: any of a genus (Alouatta) of South and Central American monkeys that have a long prehensile tail and enlargement of the hyoid and laryngeal apparatus enabling them to make loud howling noises
Illustration of HOWLER MONKEY
First Known Use of HOWLER MONKEY
Any of several species of slow-moving tropical American monkeys (genus Alouatta) noted for their roaring cries, which carry over a distance of 2–3 mi (3–5 km). Five widely distributed species are the largest New World monkeys, generally reaching lengths of 16–28 in. (40–70 cm), excluding the 20–30-in. (50–75-cm) tail. Howlers are stoutly built and bearded, with a hunched appearance and a thickly furred, prehensile tail. Their hair is long and thick and, depending on the species, black, brown, or red. Howlers live in groups in territories mapped out by howling matches with neighbouring clans. They feed primarily on leaves.