There are approximately 264 known species called monkeys. These small to medium-sized primate usually have a long tail. Most live in trees, but some species can be found in the savannah or in mountain habitats. They all have different facial shapes, and colorings. Still these playful animals attract attention wherever they are found.
What Animals Eat Monkeys?
While they all have some common predators, there is a little variety depending on the habitat and species of monkey. Monkeys in the wild have a lot of enemies to look out for. Some of these include:
- Leopards: Leopards are not picky carnivores. They eat anything that comes across their path. This includes monkeys. Leopards ambush their prey by crouching low and sneaking up on them before pouncing. An unwary monkey is easy game.
- Cougars: like the other big cats, cougars will feast on monkey meat given the opportunity. They have the advantage of being able to move around both land and trees easily. They will usually go after younger monkeys who have wandered away from their mother, but are not afraid to attack a larger monkey.
- Jaguars: A jaguar’s name pretty much says it all. It comes from the indigenous word “yaguar” which means “he who kills with one leap” Jaguars hunt both day and night, and will eat anything that comes their way, including monkeys. They have strong teeth and a more powerful bite than other cats, which means chomping on a monkey is an easy task.
- Eagles: Monkeys also face danger from the skies. There are many birds of prey who will feast on monkeys. This includes several species of eagles like the Philippine eagle, which is known as the monkey-eating eagle. Unfortunately these birds are endangered, due to loss of habitat. Harpy eagles also enjoy dining on a variety of monkeys.
- Snakes: Large snakes like boa constrictors and pythons will eat monkeys. It really depends on the size of the snake, as well as the size of the monkey. Monkeys have been known to fight back against monkey predators.
- Chimpanzees: Chimpanzees are resourceful eaters, and their diet includes animals. Often that animal diet is mostly made up of monkeys. Chimpanzees have come close to wiping out monkey populations because of their preference for this tasty treat.
As can be seen, there are many types of predators who like to dine on monkey flesh (including a few human ones). Still the dangers can vary depending on the species, the size of the monkey, and their habitat. Read on to find out more.
What Eats Spider Monkeys?
Spider Monkeys large “New World Monkeys”. They can grow up to two feet tall, and males can weigh up to 24 pounds. With seven different species, these monkeys rely heavily on their prehensile tails, and often dangle from the branches above looking like spiders. Hence the name Spider Monkey. Their coloration may vary depending on species, but they often have some combination of black, brown, white, gold, tan, orange, and red fur.
Spider monkeys live high in the canopy of the Amazon jungle, mostly in Central and South America. They stay high to avoid some of the many predators found on the forest floor. However, this doesn’t mean they are safe. They still risk predation from jaguars, eagles, hawks, snakes, and other primates (especially chimpanzees).
What Eats Howler Monkeys?
The largest of the New World Monkeys, found moving through the trees of South and Central American rainforests. is the howler monkey. They can grow up to four feet tall. There are at least 15 recognized species, including the black howler monkey. These monkeys get their name from the loud call they make when they feel threatened. This low, guttural call can be heard three miles away.
What would make them howl? Predators, of course. Their main predators are jaguar, pumas, and harpy eagles. However, the biggest threat to the howler monkey population comes from humans. Deforestation, hunting for meat, or trying to capture these animals for zoos and to become pets, means a slightly declining population. While howlers are not considered endangered, the behaviors of humans has an influence on their population.
What Eats Squirrel Monkeys?
Squirrel monkeys can be found in both rain forests and dry forests of South and Central America. Unlike many of their monkey siblings, squirrel monkey tails are not prehensile, meaning they don’t use it to grab things. It’s for balance alone. They spend most of their time in large groups in the middle canopy of the rain forest, where they help protect one another.
At only about 1 foot tall, and weighing about 1.5 pounds, these monkeys are vulnerable to many different predators. The biggest danger comes from above for these animals. Birds of prey who hunt during the daytime often choose squirrel monkeys for their meal. These include Caracaras. falcons, vultures, and condors.
Of course, squirrel monkeys face other predators as well. Many species of snakes make a home in South American rainforests. Boa constrictors can easily make a meal of these small monkeys. Tree boas and anacondas lie in wait in the trees, until they can capture their next meal. Both types of snakes are constrictors, who wrap their bodies around their prey until the squirrel monkey (or other animal) suffocates, leaving the snake at peace to slowly consume their food.
Jaguars and ocelots also hunt for squirrel monkeys. While both these cats do most of their hunting at night, and squirrel monkeys are more active during the day, this doesn’t stop them from ambushing an unsuspecting squirrel monkey. Even though ocelots tend to hunt on the ground, they can climb trees, and often feast on squirrel monkey.
What Eats Capuchin Monkeys?
Capuchin Monkeys have earned the nickname of “organ-grinder monkeys” because they often appear in movies and television shows doing just that. They can be found in a variety of wet forests in South and Central America, and even in dry deciduous forests of the Pacific Coast. There are nine different species, each with a prehensile tail that is the same length as their bodies (which is from 12 to 22 inches in length). These highly intelligent animals, hang out in groups in trees, where they can find food and hopefully avoid predators. Their main predators are boa constrictors, jaguars, hawks, and eagles. Humans will also eat capuchin monkeys, however, more often these monkeys are sought as pets or to become helper animals for quadriplegics, as they are easily trainable and can live in captivity up to 50 years.