Hindus worship monkeys in the form of ‘Hanuman’, a divine entity, a god of strength and loyalty. Normally, monkey is considered as a symbol of trickery and ugliness. Monkeys represent restless mind, senseless behavior, greed and uncontrolled anger. About 264 types of monkeys are in this world today, but it is sad that many species of monkeys are included in the list of extinct animals and in the list of endangered species as well. Monkeys are popular zoo exhibits, and I am sure, you must have seen monkeys eating bananas. What do monkeys eat besides bananas? Here is an overview:
Eating Habits of Monkeys
There exist various types of monkeys. Spider monkeys are mainly found in rainforests. If you are thinking about what spider monkeys eat in rainforests, you will be perhaps surprised to know that spider monkeys, like human beings, regulate their daily diet, rather their daily protein intake, in such a way that it remains about the same throughout the year, in spite of changing seasons and change in the available food type.
Most monkeys are omnivores. Monkeys love eating ripe fruits and seeds but, they also eat vegetables. Besides bark and leaves, they eat honey and flowers also. The howler monkey is known as the loudest land animal. You can hear their loud calls even when you are 3 miles away from them in jungles. They are strictly vegetarians and they enjoy eating small, young, tender leaves by hanging upside down from their tails. Their diet consists of fresh fruits like yams, bananas, grapes and green vegetables. Various plants in the canopy layer of rainforest act as cups and store water for them! Facts about monkeys inform us that they use their lips and hands skillfully to eat only those parts of vegetation which they want. All monkeys wander in search of food during the day but ‘owl monkey’ is a nocturnal animal. It sleeps throughout the day and hunts its food at night.
Capuchin monkeys are omnivorous and they eat fruits, bugs, leaves and small lizards, bird’s eggs and small birds. Trained capuchin monkeys can assist quadriplegics and people with disabilities in various ways. They can catch frogs, crabs, shellfish and they eat small mammals and reptiles also. All monkeys are expert in cracking nuts. Facts about gorillas inform us that gorillas weigh around 140-200 Kg and they have a large appetite! They eat fruits, stems, leaves, barks, vines, bamboo, etc. Most gorillas are herbivorous but depending upon the habitat, they may eat snails, insects and slugs, if they don’t get enough fruits and vegetables. Mountain gorillas eat bark, stems, roots, thistles, wild celery, bamboo shoots, fruits, seeds and leaves of various plants and trees. One of the surprising fact about gorillas is that they consume succulent vegetation, so that, they don’t actually need to drink water. The most important fact is that huge gorillas never over-exploit an area for food. Moreover, they crop the vegetation in such a way that it grows again quickly. We can learn a lot from eating habits of monkeys.
Human Beings and Monkeys: Who is More Greedy
Isn’t it shameful that human beings are destroying monkey habitat in search of territories? Human beings need more wood for housing, more pastures for grazing, more bark, roots, fruits, seeds and vegetables for dietary and medicinal purposes. So-called intelligent human beings are not aware of balance of nature, importance of green forests and benefits offered by animal world. Monkeys are used for entertainment, for carrying out experiments in laboratories. In some parts of the world monkey brain or monkey meat is eaten as a delicacy. Capuchin monkeys can be trained to perform different daily activities as they have excellent grasping power. They can help quadriplegics or people with disabilities. Now, there is a need to train human beings regarding how to save our green earth.
Monkeys are killed because they cause extensive damage to crops. They eat fruits and grains. Actually, we have destroyed their habitat in search of food and land. It is our duty to save monkeys. These days, there are websites which provide information on how you can adopt a gorilla or make donations to save gorillas and various other endangered species. If you want, you can also volunteer to work at an organization devoted to this very important cause.