Night monkey

From Academic Kids

Night monkeys
gray-bellied Night Monkey
Gray-bellied Night Monkey
Scientific classification
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Mammalia
Order:Primates
Family:Aotidae
Poche, 1908 (1865)
Genus:Aotus
Illiger, 1811

Template:Taxobox section type species

Species

Aotus lemurinus
Aotus hershkovitzi
Aotus trivirgatus
Aotus vociferans
Aotus miconax
Aotus nancymae
Aotus azarae

The Night monkeys, also known as the Owl monkeys or Douroucoulis, are the members of the genus Aotus of New World monkeys (monotypic in family Aotidae). They are widely distributed in the forests of Central and South America, from Panama south to Paraguay and northern Argentina. The genus name means "earless"; they have ears, of course, but the external ears are tiny and hard to see. They are called Night monkeys because they are active at night and are in fact the only truly nocturnal monkeys.

Until 1983, all Night monkeys were placed into only a few species. Some authors still believe that there are only two or three true species, the remaining types being subspecies of these. The most widely agreed distinction is between a grey-necked group, including Aotus lemurinus, A. trivirgatus and A. vociferans, and a red-necked group, including A. miconax, A. nancymai, A. infulatus and A. azarae; authors recognising only two species refer to these as A. trivirgatus and A. azarae respectively.

Night monkeys make a notably wide variety of vocal sounds, 50-100 distinct calls having been identified. Unusually among the New World monkeys, they are monochromats, that is, they have no colour vision, presumably because it is of no advantage given their nocturnal habits.

All Night monkeys form pair bonds, and live in family groups of the mated pair with their immature offspring. Family groups defend territories by vocal calls and scent marking. Only one infant is born each year. The male is the primary caregiver, and the mother only carries the infant for the first week or so of its life.

Classification

References

  • Jacobs, G. H., Deegan, J. F., Neitz, J., Crognale, M. A., & Neitz, (1993). Photopigments and colour vision in the nocturnal monkey, Aotus. Vision Research, 33, 1773-1783.de:Nachtaffen

lt:Mirikinos

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