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Animal Database
Animal Database
1280px-Male uakari
Bald Uakari (Cacajao calvus)
Scientific Classification
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Mammalia
Order Primates
Family Pitheciidae
Genus Cacajao

Cacajao or uakaris is a genus of New World monkeys. Both the English and scientific names are believed to have originated from indigenous languages.

The uakaris are unusual among New World monkeys in that the tail length (15-18 cm) is substantially less than their head and body length (40-45 cm). Their bodies are covered with long, loose hair but their heads are bald. They have almost no subcutaneous fat, so their bald faces appear almost skull like. Like their closest relatives the saki monkeys, they have projecting lower incisors.

The four species of uakari currently recognized are all found in the north-western Amazon Basin. The bald uakari is found north of the Amazon River, and south of the Japurá River in the Mamirauá Sustainable Development Reserve. The Golden-backed uakari is found north of the Rio Negro, west of the Rio Marauiá and east of the Casiquiare canal. The Aracá uakari is currently known only from the Rio Curuduri basin.

Uakaris are typically lethargic and silent in zoo conditions, but in the wild they are agile and active, capable of leaps of over 6 meters. They have been observed both in small groups and in larger troops of up to 100. When traveling through the forest they move in the lower branches of the trees, though when foraging they also go up to the canopy. They eat fruit, nuts, buds and leaves.

Uakari are found in neotropical Amazonia flooded or riparian forests, including Brazil, Colombia, Peru and Venezuela.


There are four species in this genus:

Bald Uakari (I. Geoffroy, 1847) (Cacajao calvus)
 Cacajao calvus calvus
 Cacajao calvus ucayalii
 Cacajao calvus rubicundus
 Cacajao calvus novaesi
Golden-backed Uakari (Humboldt, 1812) (Cacajao melanocephalus)
Aracá Uakari (Boubli et al., 2008) (Cacajao ayresi)
Neblina Uakari (Boubli et al., 2008) (Cacajao hosomi)