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Bald uakaris are small South American primates with striking bald heads and bright red faces. (They may be attractive to mates because malarial or sick animals develop pale faces.) They have a long, shaggy coat that varies from reddish brown to orange. These monkeys live only in the Amazon River basin, preferring permanently or seasonally flooded rain forests and locations near water sources, such as small rivers and lakes.

Physical Description Edit

The bald uakari weighs between 2.75 and 3.45 kg (6.1 and 7.6 lb), with head and body lengths average 45.6 cm (18.0 in) (male) and 44.0 cm (17.3 in) (female). In general, the bald uakari has a long, shaggy coat ranging from white in color to red and its head is bald. The tail is bob-like and rather short for a New World monkey (about 5.9 inches (15 cm)), at only half the length of the body and head combined. Its scarlet red face is due to the lack of skin pigments and plentiful capillaries that run under its facial tissue.

Behavior and Diet Edit

Unlike most monkeys, bald uakaris have very short tails, but move nimbly in the trees without them by using their arms and legs. These New World monkeys live in groups called troops and are quite social animals. Such gatherings may include close to a hundred animals, but bald uakaris split up during the day to forage in smaller groups of one to ten individuals. At night they sleep aloft, high in the rain forest canopy.

Bald uakaris forage during the day. They eat a fruit-heavy diet, but also consume leaves and some insects. Their powerful jaws can open a hardy Brazil nut. Most food is gathered in the trees, though during dry periods when food is scarce, uakaris will go to the ground in search of fallen seeds or roots.

Threats Edit

Females give birth to just a single infant every two years. Reproductive ages are three (females) and six (males), so populations cannot experience rapid growth.

Unfortunately, these intelligent primates are hunted in their Amazon forest homes for food and sometimes captured by indigenous peoples. They are also threatened by the destruction of their environment, as the timber industry clears ever increasing swaths of Amazon forest.

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