A bald uakari photographed at Los Angeles Zoo in California
A bald uakari photographed at Los Angeles Zoo in California
Photograph by Joel Sartore, National Geographic Photo Ark

Bald Uakari

Common Name:
Bald Uakari
Scientific Name:
Cacajao calvus
Type:
Mammals
Diet:
Herbivore
Group Name:
Troop
Average Life Span In The Wild:
15 to 20 years
Size:
14 to 22.5 inches
Weight:
4.4 to 6.6 pounds
IUCN Red List Status:
Vulnerable
Current Population Trend:
Decreasing

Bald uakaris are small South American primates with striking bald heads and bright red faces. (They may be attractive to mates because malarial or sick animals develop pale faces.) They have a long, shaggy coat that varies from reddish brown to orange. These monkeys live only in the Amazon River basin, preferring permanently or seasonally flooded rain forests and locations near water sources, such as small rivers and lakes.

Behavior

Unlike most monkeys, bald uakaris have very short tails, but move nimbly in the trees without them by using their arms and legs.

These New World monkeys live in groups called troops and are quite social animals. Such gatherings may include close to a hundred animals, but bald uakaris split up during the day to forage in smaller groups of one to ten individuals. At night they sleep aloft, high in the rain forest canopy.

Bald uakaris forage during the day. They eat a fruit-heavy diet, but also consume leaves and some insects. Their powerful jaws can open a hardy Brazil nut. Most food is gathered in the trees, though during dry periods when food is scarce, uakaris will go to the ground in search of fallen seeds or roots.

Population Threats

Females give birth to just a single infant every two years. Reproductive ages are three (females) and six (males), so populations cannot experience rapid growth.

Unfortunately, these intelligent primates are hunted in their Amazon forest homes for food and sometimes captured by indigenous peoples. They are also threatened by the destruction of their environment, as the timber industry clears ever increasing swaths of Amazon forest.

This photo was submitted to Your Shot, our photo community on Instagram. Follow us on Instagram at @natgeoyourshot or visit us at natgeo.com/yourshot for the latest submissions and news about the community.
This photo was submitted to Your Shot, our photo community on Instagram. Follow us on Instagram at @natgeoyourshot or visit us at natgeo.com/yourshot for the latest submissions and news about the community.
Photograph by Corey Callahan, National Geographic Your Shot

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