Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Alouatta Lacépède, 1799

Platyrrhine genus to which the howler monkeys belong. Most workers recognize six allopatric species in South and Central America ranging in body mass from 4 to 11 kg. Sexually dimorphic in body mass, pelage color, or both. Arboreal. Diurnal. Dental formula: Folivorous, with fruit supplements. Hindgut fermenters. Possess a prehensile tail. A distinctive feature of these monkeys is their loud roar, which advertises their territories, made possible by a modified and enlarged hyoid. There is no agreement on the placement of Alouatta within the ceboids. A subfamily Alouattinae (Trouessart, 1897) is recognized, but is included among the family Cebidae or the family Atelidae depending on the authority.

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