Black howlers vocalizing

If you frequent the Zoo, you know that there are lots of sounds that make the Zoo, well…the Zoo! Have you noticed that some animals make the same sounds at the same time every day? Do you know who you’re listening to?

All of the Zoo’s primates vocalize to some degree, some much (much) more than others. As you become more familiar with the Zoo and its residents, you’ll start to recognize the primate trail’s three morning callers: the buff-cheeked gibbons, the black howler monkeys, and the siamangs. These three species each perform their own territorial calls every day, and each one can be heard from one end of the Zoo to the other. These calls alert other animals to their territory, and can keep predators from coming too close. But do you know who you are listening to when you hear it? You may be surprised!

This video captured by Anne, Keeper II – Primates, is of the black howlers vocalizing. The black howler monkeys are the earliest callers, often singing before guests, and even sometimes keepers, arrive. The howler monkey’s name is a bit misleading, as the call doesn’t sound like a wolf howling. It sounds more like a garbage disposal. The howlers have an enlarged hyoid bone in their throats, which makes the call reverberate louder and farther. They are the loudest land animal in the New World.