Monkey Forest Tales: A day in the life of a Brumback’s night monkey

Aotus brumbacki (Colombian Llanos)Family
Brumback’s owl monkey (mono nocturno; Aotus brumbacki)

Today post is the third in the series of posts about a day in the life of a group of monkeys. This time we are going to join a group of Brumback’s night monkeys (Aotus brumbackii). They are small monkeys with big eyes that allows them to see in the dark. This night monkey lives in a small thin fragment full of palm trees in a swampy area. The group sleeps in a big old fig tree with a couple of deep holes that make it a cozy nest for our story family. The group is formed by a male, a female, a juvenile male of about two years and a small female baby of around three months

Our group started their activities around 5:30 pm. There are some movement in the nest. The male stick out his head on the nest hole looking around for any sign of movements in the branches around. Then, female and juvenile join him. The baby is in his father back and slowly moves to her mom’s to suck some milk from her before going back to her father. Night monkeys’ babies are taking care by their fathers and only go to their mother when they need to eat. The group starts moving around 6 pm, when the sunset is finishing. First the male and then the rest of his family move outside of the nest.

There is a fig tree just a couple of meters from their nest and it’s full of small reddish, sweet fruits. They move slowly toward it. This part of the forest is thin and very open, so their movements are agile and fast, but they stop continuously to look around for any sights of danger. They reach the fence and start to go down, they cross the small part of pasture that give them access to the fig tree, just 10 meters from the fence and go up very fast. The family disperse a little bit a start eating some fruits and occasionally a small insect. They spend around an hour there eating and moving on the fig tree branches catching small insects.

After a while they start moving again a big faster, they return to the forest fragment and their movements are fast and agile, they have a clear direction towards the other edge of the fragment. They cross the Moriche palms (Mauritia flexuosa palms) standing near to the stream crossing the fragment. Stop there for some minutes to eat some insects from the broad leaves of the palms, the juvenile male jumping and playing around while his little sister look him from his father back. The group reach the other side of the fragment where some trees with small back, round fruits are crumpled and start eating again.

It is almost 9 pm and the group start moving again towards the Moriche palms, once there, movements stop a bit and the parents sit to rest. The male showed his back to the female asking for grooming time, while the baby move around them, carefully. The juvenile male start grooming the baby. Suddenly, you can hear some guttural sounds, glup…glup…glup and the parents start looking around, an owl scream is hear nearby. The parents are in alert for a while repeating that guttural sound a bit longer. Then calm come back and grooming starts again. The juvenile male and his sister are playing, the baby jumping in her brothers’ back while his brother try to catch her. After a while no movement can be seen. The group is resting.

Around noon some movement start again, slowly towards an Anime tree, next to the Moriche palms, all the group is eating the small white pulp from the Anime. After a while, the male lay down on a wide branch and the female join him for another rest. The juvenile and baby join them this time.

Around 2:30 am they start moving again, they eat a bit more Anime fruits before leaving the tree. They move between Moriche palms searching for insects to catch. The male catching a big cricket at once and the baby taking some bit from his mouth. They are moving towards one of the forest edges again. The edge is a bit lower here and with dense vines. All group moves towards the ground and start searching and catching insects again. After a while, they start moving again towards a higher tree in the vicinity. They spend a few minutes grooming and then move again towards the nest they sleep last day. Their movement were slow, stopping in some Moriche palms to eat some insects, another Anime tree for more fruits and around 4 am for another small rest before stopping once more in the fig tree near to the nest. They spend around an hour there before moving to their nest. Around 5:30 all group was in the nest and only the father was looking out for any signs of danger nearby. The sun was rising in a blue sky. At 6:30 all movement had stopped, and all group member were hiding inside the nest.

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