Why did the uakari monkey go extinct?

The bald uakari is a vulnerable monkey species native to the Amazon. It has a bright red face and a bald head. Its fur can range from reddish brown to red-orange. The uakari is unusual among New World monkeys because its tail is much shorter than its body.

The red color of uakari faces comes from blood vessels under the facial skin, not melanin. There are four uakari species. They differ somewhat in fur color and location. All live in Amazon rainforests, preferring flooded areas near rivers and lakes.

Uakaris are threatened by deforestation and hunting. They are easy targets for hunters in boats because they live along rivers. Some regions face heavier hunting impacts. The Tamshiyacu Tahuayo Reserve in the Peruvian Amazon was created to protect the red uakari monkey.

What do uakari do?

Uakari monkeys live in the Amazon River basin, preferring flooded rainforests and locations near water. They are adapted to this environment with unique teeth suited for their fruit diet. Over time, uakaris have evolved into different species, adapted to various rainforest niches.

As with other monkeys, uakaris are omnivores. Fruit and seeds make up most of their diet, but they also eat insects, leaves and flowers. They forage in trees, but come to the ground when food is scarce to find fallen seeds or roots.

Uakaris move through trees using their arms and legs. Their short tails are not prehensile and they lack opposable thumbs. They are diurnal and social, living in family groups.

Males sometimes leave to establish their own families. After mating, females give birth every two years to a single infant. Babies cling to their mothers before being weaned at four months old.

Uakaris have long, shaggy fur but bald faces. With almost no fat, their bare faces can appear skull-like. Their bright red faces signal health and balanced diets.

Uakaris are endemic to South America’s Amazon. Their adaptations allow them to thrive in flooded forests despite limited resources. As biodiversity icons, their endangered status spotlights threats the Amazon faces from hunting and deforestation.

Why do uakari have red faces?

The red faces of uakaris result from a higher density of blood vessels under the skin. Researchers did not find melanin granules in the facial skin. As omnivores, uakaris eat mainly fruit and seeds, but also insects, leaves, and flowers. These monkeys inhabit the Amazon River basin, preferring flooded or riparian rainforests near water. Their round faces lack a pronounced snout and they have short, non-prehensile tails. Uakaris originated in South American rainforests, with fossil evidence dating back 23 million years. They have evolved adaptations like specialized teeth for eating fruit. Over time, uakaris have diversified into different species, adapted to ecological niches within rainforests. Uakaris live only in the Amazon basin, in Brazil, Colombia, Peru and Venezuela. Their habitat loss and hunting threatens them. Since they live along rivers, they are easy targets from boats.

Is the uakari monkey endangered?

Uakaris live along small lakes and rivers in troops of 10, but groups of 100 are seen. They are endangered by habitat destruction, hunting, and pet trade. The bald uakari is vulnerable by IUCN Red List. Threatened by forest loss and hunting. Because they live along rivers, bald uakari are easy targets from boats. Their red face is an indicator of good health, reflecting a balanced diet. The bald uakari lives in family groups, young males desert to establish own families. Uakaris are unusual among New World monkeys, tail length less than head and body length. Face almost skull-like with no fat. Projecting lower incisors like closest relatives, saki monkeys. Observed both in small groups and larger troops of 100. When traveling, move in lower branches, though when foraging also go up to canopy. Weigh 2.75-3.45 kg. Body length averages 45.6 cm males, 44 cm females. Tail 15 cm, less than half body length. Eat fruit-heavy diet, but also leaves and insects. Powerful jaws open Brazil nuts. Critically endangered species in Amazon rainforest. Considered one of most beautiful primates. Disappearing due to deforestation and hunting. Can see in natural habitat with tour operators.

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