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Monkeys travel in troupes !!

There are 193 species of monkeys and apes, 192 of them covered with hair. The exception is a naked ape, self-named homo sapiens. ~ The Naked Ape, Desmond Morris, 1968

Monkeys are a favorite with tourists and always cause a stir when they pass overhead in trees. They are intelligent, forestdwelling social animals that travel in extended family groups, called troupes.

The three main species you’ll encounter in Costa Rica include the most common, the large howler monkey (mono congo), a black, relatively slow-moving vegetarian primate. The alpha male, with his troupe of up to 20, is usually the biggest of the bunch and if he’s annoyed he’ll let out the growl (a guttural who-who-who) that can be heard for long distances. Be careful standing underneath howlers, they’ll sometimes throw fruit or, worse, try to pee on your head.

The white-faced capuchin (mono cara blanca) is a smaller, more rapid, treetop-dwelling insect eater. Their moniker comes from the hood of white fur on their shoulders, chest and face. They can be found on the Caribbean lowlands, and in Osa, Manuel Antonio, Monteverde and Guanacaste.

The blond-chested, black-handed spider monkey ( mono araña ) is famous for its long prehensile tail, which acts as a third hand. These agile communal monkeys can leap an incredible 10 meters / 33 feet from branch to branch.

A fourth type of monkey is much less visible than those mentioned above. The squirrel monkey (mono titi) can be found only along the lowland Pacific coast. Its black head, olive-green shoulders and orange hands, feet, back and calves, make it easily distinguishable. See the section on Manuel Antonio, for information about a concentrated effort to save these scampering tree dwellers.


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