Thursday, 10 March 2011

Golden Backed Uakari

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by James Hutchinson

The black uakari weighs a little less than 3 kg (6.6 lb) and has a head and body length less than 0.5 m (1.6'). There are two subspecies of black uakari. The golden-backed subspecies (Cacajao melanocephalus ouakari) is richly colored with a saddle and back of golden-yellow that contrasts with its darker chestnut-red sides and underparts. Its arms are dark-brown or blackish as are the lower parts of its legs from the knee
"My" Uakari photographed at Jau river
down. The flanks are chestnut red, this extending to the short tail as well. The black-backed subspecies (C. m. melanocephalus) has none of the golden-yellow on its back, being primarily blackish from the head to the mid-back and reddish brown or tawny at mid-back, not contrasting with the lower back or thighs.

The black uakari seems to prefer habitat along small to medium-sized black water streams and lakes, including black water seasonally flooded forests (igapo) and the inland unflooded ("terra firme") forests adjoining such igapo. The majority of its diet is made up of immature seeds. It also eats fruit pulp, leaves and arthropods. The black uakari is arboreal and diurnal. It forages at all levels from the surface of the water in a flooded forest up to the canopy and also descends to the ground to consume seedlings. Groups consist of multiple adult males and females, juveniles, and infants. Large groups of more than 100 black uakaris, some perhaps approaching 200 animals, have been seen. But these large groups result from the temporary fusion of several smaller groups. More long-lasting groups consist of 20 - 70 animals. Black uakaris are very social. Members of a group groom each other frequently. Males are very tolerant of infants, which they carefully guard from danger.
Charles, Michael, Mike and Raimundo seaching for Uakaris on the Jau River

More fruit eaten by the monkeys

1 comment:

Gil Serique: Culture, Windsurf & Wildlife In the Amazon said...

The magnificent illustration is by the Scottish artist James Hutchinson(my emails to you are bouncing back mate). The trip was to teh Jau National Park led by Dr. Charles Munn III and I. At the site we were host by Soba family and friends. Thanks to Tony and his wife and the mikes.