Amazon Monkey Tales: Titi Monkeys Have Strong Family Values

January 24, 2013
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The Amazon rainforest is home to many different primate species, including titi monkeys. There are many varying subspecies of titis, including the white-eared titi, red-bellied titi, ornate titi and the recently discovered caqueta titi.

The varying species of titi monkeys may come in different sizes and have different coloring, but they all tend to have long, soft fur that is either reddish, brown or black. These small monkeys typically only grow to between nine and 18 inches in length, and their tails are typically longer than their bodies (10-22 inches).

Titis' tails may be longer than their bodies, but they lack the ability to grasp onto tree branches and bananas that some monkey tails are capable of.

Titis are, for the most part, fruit lovers, but they have been known to munch on the occasional insect or bird egg. They make their homes in the trees of dense forests near bodies of water, and spend their days jumping through the branches, stopping only for midday naps.

The newest member of this monkey family, the caqueta titi, also called the red-bearded or bushy-bearded titi, has facial characteristics unlike any other known titi subspecies. It is also classified as critically endangered, since so few are known to live in the jungles of South America. The bushy-bearded primate looks rather similar to the white-tailed and ornate titis, but does not have any white fur, which sets it apart from its nearest relatives.

Titi monkeys stand out in the animal kingdom for their devotion to their mates. Once these tiny primates choose their mates, they stick it out for the long haul. They are also strongly rooted in family values, as titis tend to stay in family groups of parents and offspring.

Male titis are responsible for raising the babies, and the females are only called upon for feeding time. After a few months, babies are weaned from their parents' protective care and allowed to remain with the family until it is time for them to find a mate and start a life of their own — at two to three years old.

Titis are extremely territorial, and if an unwanted guest ventures into their zone, they will raise a racket hooting and hollering to drive the imposing creature away.