Active mainly at night, the golden angwantibo sleeps by day in thick foliage or in the shelter of tree crevices. It moves through the trees on all fours, using a slow, deliberate, ‘hand-over-hand’ movement, and crosses between trees by stretching between terminal branches, rather than by leaping or jumping (2) (6) (7). On the ground, the golden angwantibo shows a unique defensive behaviour. If threatened, it stands with limbs rigid, widely spaced and fully extended, and the head tucked into the chest. If touched, it may lunge at the attacker from between the legs, with a quick, slashing bite (4). Alternatively, when in the trees, it may simply roll into a ball while clinging tightly to a branch (2) (5).
The golden angwantibo feeds mainly on insects and other invertebrates, particularly caterpillars, which it supplements with fruit (2) (5) (7). It may even rear onto its hind legs and use the hands to catch moths in flight (2) (5). The golden angwantibo eats many unpalatable and even poisonous invertebrates (4), and is thought to have an unusually slow metabolism which may allow undesirable chemicals to be neutralised in the gut (6). Although mainly solitary, the golden angwantibo may occasionally meet with other individuals with whom its home range overlaps (5) (6). Most communication is through scent (4) (6), particularly through urine marks (7). The female gives birth twice a year, to a single infant (1), after a gestation of between 131 and 136 days. Births may occur at any time of year, but are most often recorded during the wet season (7). The infant clings to the female’s belly for the first three to four months, after which it is weaned, and begins to follow the female or ride on her back. Individuals become sexually mature at around eight to ten months and may live for up to thirteen years (2).