Wednesday 22 May
Uta Hick’s bearded saki (Chiropotes utahickae)
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Uta Hick’s bearded saki fact file
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Uta Hick’s bearded saki description
Named after Uta Hick, of the Cologne Zoo, who contributed a great deal to the research of saki monkeys, Uta Hick’s bearded saki (Chiropotes utahickae) possesses the characteristic beard and bushy, fox-like tail of the Chiropotes genus (2). The name Chiropotes is derived from the Greek word for ‘hand drinker’, for the unusual behaviour observed in some individuals of scooping up water in their hand to drink (2).
Uta Hick’s bearded saki can be distinguished from the black bearded saki (Chiropotes satanas) by its reddish brown coat and darker limbs (2). Uta Hick’s bearded saki is bigger than members of the marmoset and tamarind Family (Callitrichidae), has longer arms and is a better climber (5).
- Chiropotes satanas utahicki.
- Male head-body length: 39 cm (2)
- Female head-body length: 36.6 cm (2)
- Male average weight: 3.1 kg (3)
- Female average weight: 2.5 kg (3)
Amazon Conservation Association:
- An animal which lives or spends a large amount of time in trees.
- A category used in taxonomy, which is below ‘family’ and above ‘species’. A genus tends to contain species that have characteristics in common. The genus forms the first part of a ‘binomial’ Latin species name; the second part is the specific name.
- The state of being pregnant; the period from conception to birth.
IUCN Red List (November, 2011)
- Hershkovitz, P. (1985) A preliminary taxonomic review of the South American bearded saki monkeys genus Chiropotes (Cebidae, Platyrrhini), with the description of a new subspecies. Fieldiana Zoology, 1(27): 1-46.
- Ford, S.M. (1994) Evolution of sexual dimorphism in body weight in Platyrrhines. American Journal of Primatology, 34(2): 221-244.
CITES (November, 2011)
- Hershkovitz, P. (1977) Living New World Monkeys (Platyrrhini): With an Introduction to Primates. The University of Chicago Press, Chicago.
- Hildyard, A. (2001) Endangered Wildlife and Plants of the World. Marshall Cavendish Corporation, Tarrytown, NY.
- Bobadillia, U.L. and Ferrari, S.F. (2000) Habitat use by Chiropotes satanas utahicki and syntopic platyrrhines in Eastern Amazonia. American Journal of Primatology, 50(3): 215-224.
- Kinzey, W.G. and Norconk, M.A. (1990) Hardness as a basis of fruit choice in two sympatric primates. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 81(1): 5-15.
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Uta Hick’s bearded saki biology
Mostly eating unripe fruit and seeds, Uta Hick’s bearded saki has large canine teeth and strong jaws to crack into hard shells, and has flat molar teeth to grind up fruit before swallowing (8). Each day, Uta Hick’s bearded saki travels around 3.3 kilometres in search of food (9), walking or running on all fours (10). When it finds a suitable feeding tree Uta Hick’s bearded saki has been observed to hang upside down by its hind feet to feed on fruits in hard to reach places (6).
Uta Hick’s bearded saki lives in group sizes of approximately 22 individuals (9), but these groups change depending on availability of food (11). Often, the Uta Hick’s bearded saki will travel in a large group that splits into smaller feeding parties, preventing competition between members of the group (11). Although there may be a low level of fighting between males in the group (3), Uta Hick’s bearded saki is a social monkey, participating in play, grooming and social sleeping with other members of the group (12).
Uta Hick’s bearded saki reproduces mainly in the dry season, between December and April (12). Gestation lasts around 150 days (6), and infants are cared for by the female (12). The young Uta Hick’s bearded saki clings to the females’ chest for the first two months and then is carried on its back until it is five months old. After around one year the juvenile Uta Hick’s bearded saki will no longer be carried by the female, although it will not be weaned for a further few months (12).
The maximum lifespan of Uta Hick’s bearded saki is approximately 18 years (6).Top
Uta Hick’s bearded saki range
Uta Hick’s bearded saki is native to Brazil and lives in the Amazonian lowlands in an area between the Rios Xingu and Tocantins (1).Top
Uta Hick’s bearded saki habitat
Uta Hick’s bearded saki prefers to live in primary forest that has not been disturbed by human activity (6). However, an unexpectedly high number of Uta Hick’s bearded saki has been found in fragmented forest, proving it to be an adaptable species (7).Top
Uta Hick’s bearded saki statusTop
Uta Hick’s bearded saki threats
The Amazon rainforest is changing rapidly, with roads and logging dividing up Uta Hick’s saki’s habitat. In 2010, 7,000 square kilometres of the Amazon rainforest were cleared (13) due to large construction projects such as the Transamazonian Highway and the Tucurui dam (1). In the north of Uta Hick’s bearded saki’s range, forest is being cleared for large and small scale farming and cattle ranching (1).
As well as habitat loss, Uta Hick’s bearded saki is also under threat from hunting by local people for meat and its luxurious tail, which may be used as decoration or even as a fly swat (6).Top
Uta Hick’s bearded saki conservation
A Conservation Action Plan for Uta Hick’s bearded saki is currently being developed by an international committee (1) and hopefully it’s adaptability to disturbed habitat will be helpful in conservation efforts (7).Top
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