Monkey Forest Tales: Life from the perspective of a Red howler monkey baby, first 8 months

IUnamas - SR Enero 2012 394In today’s post, I am going to explore how is the life of a small baby monkey of Red howler monkey…
I’m what humans called a red howler monkey, a large reddish monkey living in a fragmented forest of Colombia. My life started in the early morning of the first days of the rainy season. My mom was is a high wide branch of a fig tree a bit separated from other females of the group when I get out. My mom takes me from the middle of her legs and cleanses me with her tongue, she eats my placenta and cleans me carefully. Once I was clean she put me in her belly close to her armpit, where I can hang very tight to her fur and put my tail around her arm. I had my eyes closed most of the time and I’m very tiny compared with my mom’s body.
The first weeks of my life I spend them in my mother’s belly or armpit and slowing moving towards the lower part of her back, close to her tail. My days pass as I drink milk from my mom’s armpit and sleep while she keeps moving around. She continuously moves around and other females and member of the groups come close to sniff me and sometimes try to grab me for a better look, but my mom never let them get me too long. There are another baby bigger than me, which mom is always close to mine, some times he came and try to play with me, but I’m too small to play.
Two months had passed since I born and now I move around in my mom’s back when she is resting, sometimes I even explore a bit farther, walking and jumping in the nearby branches. I started to play with the other baby. We jump, run, and bite each other, sometimes hanging from our tail only. My tail is like another limb for me and it seems to be as strong as my arms and legs. A couple of times we play close to the big male and he even let us pull his tail, I’m not sure if he is my dad but he is always near to my mom and my the other baby mom and seems to tolerate us when we are playing…until we get to noise for him and he just more to a farther branch.
I had four months now, I still move on my mother’s back, but sometimes she starts moving ahead and I have to cry so she remembers that I’m still here and need to be carried by her. I started to try some of the fruits and leaves my mom is eating, I like to bite leaves everything from her mouth. Most of the time I spend exploring and playing with the other baby and a male juvenile had joined us. My legs are skinny and not always strong enough to carry me. I’m clumsy.
I started to move between some close trees or branches in the same tree but sometimes they are very far from each other and when I cry, my mom, uses a part of her body to make a bridge so I can cross on my own…
Now I have six months, I still move on my mom’s back when the group is moving very fast but sometimes I move alone. I try to use branches that are close to each other making an easy path but, now my mom and sometimes other females and the juvenile in my group help me cross distant branches making bridges with their bodies so I can cross those gaps. Mostly is my mom and sometimes she also let me just cross until I get to her back and she carry me the rest of the time. I eat on my own now, but some times I also drink milk from my mom. I eat almost everything I can reach and sometimes I steal some fruits from my mom’s hand. Most of the time I’m playing, jumping, and running with the other baby and juvenile, we love to hang from our tails and bite to each other.
I’m now eight months old, I move and eat alone all the time, my mom doesn’t make any more bridges for me to cross any gaps between branches I just have to figure out were to go that is easier for me to cross. I still spend lots of time playing with the other baby and juvenile, but now we are all bigger. We still love to play to hang with our tails and bite each other. We also love to chase each other when our moms are resting. Our father and the other male tolerate us but always move to a quieter branch when we get too noisy playing. We sometimes join our parents when they howl against another group.
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