In my last blog I mentioned that I’d be “publishing” my own articles/stories in my blog that didn’t quite make it into other publications. When I try to get something sold, or published, I often have to try multiple venues. That’s just the way it is. What one person doesn’t like, another may, but often times I just write for a theme. I really don’t have any plans to publish this particular work elsewhere. Furthermore, I don’t really even know what other publication would have any interest in it.
That’s what these little articles are that I’m putting in my blog. I really enjoy writing about nature/animals so most of these that I’ll include are about them. The September issue of Guardian Angel Kids was all about monkeys. I sent in an article to them about an interesting species of monkeys called “Howler Monkeys” but it didn’t make the cut. I still think the article is interesting, though, so for your eyes only, my readers, here is my article.
The Loud-Mouthed Monkey
By Shari L Klase
What is the loudest animal in the New World? Bears are loud. Parrots are loud. Mountain lions are very loud, but the loudest animal is actually a monkey. This monkey is called a Howler Monkey. It is named for its howl that can be heard three miles away.
Howler Monkeys live in rain forests in Latin America. They are not only the loudest monkey there but the largest. They grow anywhere from two to four feet tall. They have big necks and huge lower jaws to support their over-the-top vocal cords.
Why do these monkeys howl? The males howl to defend their territory. Different monkey families called troops holler back and forth to each other so they know where each other are at. They do this at the beginning and end of every day. Howler Monkeys eat leaves, fruit, nuts and flowers from trees so a protected food source is very important.
These monkeys have another interesting feature. They have a tail as long as their bodies that can grip tree branches. They hang from their tails while eating. That’s because Howlers live high up in the trees and rarely come down; not even to drink. They can get enough water from the leaves they eat. Sometimes they drink the water that collects on the leaves like a cup.
Howlers live in family groups of fifteen to twenty members and their leader is usually an old male monkey. There are nine different species of Howler Monkeys and their colors can be anywhere from gold to black. When Howler Monkeys have babies, several females will look after it and sometimes the males will, too, except for the very young males who may hurt the infants.
The Howler is one of the laziest monkeys around, resting 80 % of the time. They spend most of their time sleeping and grooming each other. But they don’t need an alarm clock to wake up. Their booming voices will do that every day!
****Side note: I’m very excited to be a part of a project from Knowonder! that has published readers for dyslexic children. Two of the four volume set have included a story of mine in them. They are not very expensive and they include delightful stories about dragons. Here is the link to those books if you know someone with a dyslexic reader.