Howler monkeys are the largest of Costa Rica’s four species monkeys and they typically have a life span of 15 to 20 years. Howlers are the lazy monkey. Eighty percent of their time they are at rest and are the least active monkeys in Costa Rica.
They typically live in groups of 15 to 20 individuals where the number of females is greater than the number of males: most typically by a ratio of around 4 to 1. Unlike most Costa Rican monkeys, juveniles of both genders emigrate from their natal groups, so neither adult males nor adults females in a group are typically related. Fighting among group members is infrequent and generally of short duration. However, serious injuries can result. Both males and females may fight with each other.
Howler monkeys are considered the loudest land animal and vocal communication forms an important part of their social behavior. Howler Monkeys have a distinctive loud barking whoop, similar to a seal, and they heard over considerable distances.
Howlers move quadrapedally, usually holding on to a branch with at least two hands or one hand and the tail at all times. Like other monkeys, they have prehensile tails. Their prehensile tails are strong enough to support the monkey’s entire body weight, though seldom employed in this fashion. Howlers spend almost all of their time in the forest canopy.