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Red-backed bearded saki

Chiropotes chiropotes

Description: Red-backed bearded saki monkeys (Chiropotes chiropotes), as the name implies, have a noticeable, thick beard that extends down from their jaws, particularly males. Hair growing on top of the head, parts down the middle and puffs out on each side, giving them a unique hair style. Their bodies are covered with dense hair that is black overall but their backs vary in color from red to yellowish-gold. The non-prehensile, bushy tail is almost as long as their body.

Size: Red-backed bearded sakis are medium-sized monkeys. The females of the species are typically smaller, with males being approximately 16-18 inches long (41-46 cm). Average weight is between 5.7- 7.1 pounds (2.6-3.2 kg).

Behavior: Bearded sakis form a large troop (20-30 members) but separate into smaller groups as they spend their days traveling and foraging for food. Moving through the forests is easy for sakis, as their strong hind limbs allow them to jump long distances. It is believed they sleep high in the forest with their tail curled around their body.

Diet: Red-backed bearded sakis are primarily frugivores, feeding on seeds, nuts and fruits but will also include arthropods.

Senses: Smell is important for social communication during mating.

Communication: Sounds include whistles and twitters. Both vocalizations and body language are used to communicate. Tail wagging is used when silence is important as when warning of danger.

Reproduction: After an approximate five month gestation period, the female usually gives birth to a single offspring. The tail is prehensile during its first two months after birth, allowing it to cling to its caregiver.

Habitat/range: The bearded saki is both diurnal and arboreal and can usually be found in the upper rainforests that are located near streams or rivers. It is believed their range includes Brazil, Venezuela and possibly the Guyanas.

Status: IUCN Endangered. CITES Appendix II. Included in AZA Species Survival Plan®(SSP). This program cooperatively manages specific, and typically threatened or endangered populations.