July 22, 2021
Hidden Amongst the Trees
- as seen by -Cory Scott
Bolivian titi monkeys (Callicebus donacophilus) are small primates native to the Amazon River basin of Brazil. The adults weigh only one to three pounds and have a head and body length of about 11-12 inches. Titi monkeys are arboreal and typically live in the lower tree canopy. Being so small, they need to be able to stay hidden while living in the forest. Throughout the day, they travel in the understory feeding on fruit, leaves, seeds, and even some insects. WCS’s Prospect Park Zoo currently houses two titi monkeys, Tuaca (above) and Chicklet in the Animal Lifestyles building.
As with most primates, titi monkeys are incredibly social animals that live in small family groups. These groups typically consist of a monogamous pair of adults along with their offspring. Many primate species exhibit social-related behaviors such as grooming and play, however, titis have one that is unique to them. Often, two or more individuals will sit with their tails wrapped together. Called “tail entwining,” this important behavior helps strengthen the bond between individuals. Tail entwining has been seen both when the monkeys are awake and while sleeping.
Be on the lookout for Tuaca and Chicklet when visiting Prospect Park Zoo. If you’re lucky, you may see them sitting with their special tail twist.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This week is National Zookeeper Week, July 18-24, 2021, a time to recognize our keepers’ hard work, conservation efforts, and passion in caring for animals.