Black-eared toadstools: Life in the equatorial forests of South America

The black-eared toadcat is a primate in the toadcat family that inhabits the equatorial forests of South America. These primates are small in size, their body length varies from 18 to 30 cm, and their weight ranges from 300 to 450 g. Their tail is quite long (up to 40 cm), but it is not grasping.

The habitat of black-eared toads is the equatorial forests of South America, where they can be found in Brazil. They often appear near human settlements and run into plantations. Toymunks are arboreal dwellers, but can move both horizontally and vertically on supports (trees) using all four limbs. They are also good at jumping on branches, moving in jerks.

Black-eared toads live in family groups, where the adult dominant male dominates only the other adult males, overlooking the subordinate adult females and juveniles. The alpha female also behaves towards other females without any dictatorial attitude towards males and immature individuals. Both dominant playmates are parents in the group (monogamous relationship). The adult juveniles are driven away by the parent of their own sex.

Black-eared toadstools are peaceful, do not like fights and even punish bullies, but order is maintained in the group. For this purpose, leaders of both sexes use different signals of aggression: they press bundles of hair, align them with their ears, lift their hair up, lower their eyebrows, and curve their torso in an arc. The arched body position is a demonstration of dominance, often not directed at any particular member of the group, a general guiding mark of distinction, so to speak.

In communicating, the playfuls make extensive use of audible signals. They chirp, shrilly squeal to warn of aggression, sharply shout in high tones “tsi”, “isi” etc. They are easily excitable and often panic.

Black-eared toadstools feed mainly on tree sap; to obtain it, the animals gnaw on trunks with sharp incisors. The gnaws are laced with a viscous resin, which the toads also eat. Up to half of the ration of tots are insects, mainly large grasshoppers and larvae, which monkeys are constantly looking for in cracks of bark with their thin fingers. They do not miss fruits, birds’ eggs and even chicks, lizards and frogs.

Black-eared toads are amazing primates that can move around in trees and live in family groups dominated by an alpha male and an alpha female. They are peaceful, but use various signals of aggression to maintain order in the group. Black-eared toads feed on tree sap and insects, and don’t mind snacking on fruit or eggs. They use sound cues extensively in communication and are easily excitable. These amazing animals deserve more attention and protection in their natural habitat.

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