Titi Monkeys live in South American forests and spend most of their time in the trees. They swiftly and move along the branches, looking for food. In the evening, the family meets up and spends the night together. When sleeping, they often tie their tails together, which may be done to strengthen family bonds.
There are three species of Titi, each of which prefers different forest areas. Collared Titi, which is the most common Titi monkey, inhabits swampy forests in Brazil, which is completely different from other species of these monkeys, who live in forests. Titi monkeys live in small family groups of no more than 5 individuals. These groups consist of the parents and their children up to the age of 3 years. Each of these families takes a small territory in the area and every morning the male announces the family’s territorial rights with loud calls that can be heard from a great distance.
Titi monkeys performing their ritual morning calls
Three quarters of the Titi’s diet consists of fruit. This monkey will often eat verdant fruits, which other monkey species wouldn’t touch. Some species of the Titi also complement their diets with leaves and sprouts, while other species are unable to digest them. Some species quench their need for proteins by eating small spiders and bugs and they can make for up to one fifth of the monkey’s diet. Titi monkeys start searching for food early in the morning. They patrol through the trees in their territory, eating all fruits along their path. A few hours later, the Titi stop eating and rest, sitting on a branch, slowly digesting the food and cleaning each other’s fur. They feed for the second time in late evening, right before going to sleep.
Titi monkeys form life-long relationships with a partner they choose right after leaving their family group at the age of three. They can mate all year round, although babies are always born during time when food is abundant. Gestation lasts for about 150 days and one, or sometimes two, babies are born. Two days later, the father starts taking care of the newborn, carrying it on the back and educating it about the life of monkeys. It’s amazing how attentive and caring Titi monkey males are. They play the largest role in the upbringing of the youngling, as mothers interact with the baby only when it’s time for feeding. The father keeps tending after the child for three to four months, when the young monkey can climb and feed on its own.
A male Titi monkey with his child
Titi monkeys are severely affected by logging of the Amazon forests, and their population is on a steady decline.