Friday, January 05, 2007


Howler Monkeys have unique personalities. Totto has some very pronounced characteristics. I have always realized that he is very macho. However, he shows considerable deference to his wife, Sophie. He will always allow her to eat first and take the choice pieces of a meal. Just recently, I have begun to recognize some interesting traits in Totto’s behavior. When I place food in front of him, he will not accept it whilst I look on. He waits until I have apparently departed. Then he hurries to accept the offering. This applies to both main meals and tidbits. He is very fond of biscuits, cheese, and any kind of meat. He would rather see Sophie steal his favorite snack than be seen to accept a gift directly from me. I am at a loss to explain this behavior except in terms of Machismo. If anyone can offer another explanation, I will be very interested to hear it. His attitude to Sophie is atypical. Normally the leader eats first and the females get the leftovers and the kids get the banana skins. Could it be that he is treating me as the leader? Our picture is of course Totto, taken yesterday.

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