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New World Monkeys


There are three species of titis, all in the genus Callicebus. The name titi derives from the Aymara language, meaning "little cat." Titis all have long hair, which makes them appear to be larger than they actually are. The three species of titi are small, measuring about 10 in (25 cm) long, plus a tail that may be an additional 12-20 in (30-50 cm), and weigh less than 2 lb (about 0.8 kg).

The white-handed titi (C. torquatus) and the dusky titi (C. moloch) occupy the same forested region of the upper Amazon. The dusky titi lives along rivers and in wet forests, while the white-handed titi lives on higher ground. The white-handed titi likes heights so much that it sleeps on the branches of the tall emergent trees that stand above the high canopy of the rain forest, several hundred feet above the forest floor.

The white-handed titi is primarily dark red in color, with a white neck band and light-colored hands. The white collar and "gloves" earn it the nickname "widow monkey" because its coloration matches the traditional apparel of a Brazilian widow. The dusky titi is gray, leaning toward reddish, with lighter areas. The third species, the masked titi (C. personatus), inhabits a small area in the coastal forests of southern Brazil. This species has black hands and feet and dark fur on its face.

Titis are very vocal monkeys, chattering away with many different types of sounds for long periods, especially early in the morning. They live in family groups, and much of the chatter is between different groups. When resting on a branch, titis sit with all four feet tightly together, ready to leap for a new branch in a single movement if danger threatens. Often, when two titis sit side by side, they entwine their tails. The single young is born quite helpless and must be carried for the first three months of its life. That task falls to the father, except for the first two days of the infant's life. After it begins to get around the trees on its own, the young one is still guarded, protected, taught, and played with by the father.

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Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Mysticism to Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotideNew World Monkeys - Capuchins, The Night Monkey, Titis, Squirrel Monkeys, The Saki Family, Howler Monkeys