Spider monkey is a member of the primitive monkeys of the New World. There are seven different species of spider monkeys that live in Central and South America and in northern parts of Mexico. Spider monkeys live in wet and dense tropical rainforests. Number of spider monkeys is constantly decreasing because of the habitat loss, intense deforestation, hunt (indigenous people eat the meat of spider monkeys) and pet trade. The black-headed spider monkey, wooly spider monkey, and brown spider monkey are listed as critically endangered animals.

Spider monkeys weigh about 6 kg (13.2 pounds) and are 35–66 cm (14–26 inches) long, excluding the heavily furred tail, which is longer than the body. The coat, of variable length and fineness, ranges among the several species from gray to reddish, dark brown, or black. Most have a black face with white eye rings, but some have a flesh-coloured face.

Spider monkeys are primitive New World monkeys of the family ‘Atelidae’ found in tropical lowland rainforests from Mexico to South America, along the coasts and the banks of the Amazon, south to Bolivia and the Matto Grosso in Brazil and the mountain forest slopes of the Andes. Spider monkeys are restricted to arboreal habitats, mainly in the top of the tree canopy. They range from sea level to higher ground.

Behavior Of A Spider Monkeys

They have long, lanky arms and prehensile (gripping) tails that enable them to move gracefully from branch to branch and tree to tree. These nimble monkeys spend most of their time aloft, and maintain a powerful grip on branches even though they have no thumbs.

These New World primates are social and gather in groups of up to two- or three-dozen animals. At night, these groups split up into smaller sleeping parties of a half dozen or fewer. Foraging also occurs in smaller groups, and is usually most intense early in the day. Spider monkeys find food in the treetops and feast on nuts, fruits, leaves, bird eggs, and spiders. They can be noisy animals and often communicate with many calls, screeches, barks, and other sounds.

Spider Monkeys Reproduction

Typically, females give birth to only a single baby every two to five years. Young monkeys depend completely on their mothers for about ten weeks, but after that time they begin to explore on their own and play amongst themselves. Mothers continue to care for their young for the first year of their lives, and often move about with their offspring clinging to their backs.

Threats to Survival Of Spider Monkeys

Indigenous peoples often hunt spider monkeys for food, and the animals are usually agitated by human contact. Logging and deforestation continue to shrink the space that spider monkeys are able to call home.

What Do Spider Monkeys Look Like?

They have especially long limbs, which are often compared to the limbs that spiders have, and are known for their graceful moves. Their prehensile tail is often considered to be their fifth limb because of how it helps them to pick up food such as nuts, seeds, leaves, flowers, and insects within their habitat. They use their tail to move from one tree to another tree in their habitat or in the zoo. Their weight is within the 13.3-19.8 lb (6-9 kg) range. The color of their body generally ranges from brown and black to white, gold, and rust. Since the spider monkey is one of the largest species, they get a lot of predators, however, their weight and hook-like hands protect them.

How Fast Can A Spider Monkey Move?

On average, the black-handed spider monkey (Ateles geoffroyi) has a speed of 34.7 mph (56 kph). Their speed will differ if they’re in captivity in a zoo or on a run from predators. In a zoo, their speed will tend to be slower in some circumstances, especially if they’re not running away from predators.

How Much Does A Spider Monkey Weigh?

When it comes to their weight amongst these monkeys, the average monkey weighs somewhere between 13.3 to 19.8 lb (6-9 kg). Males often tend to weigh more than females. They are two to three times heavier than the swamp monkey.

What Type Of Animal Is A Spider Monkey?

The black-handed spider monkey (Ateles geoffroyi) is a diurnal spider monkey that primarily resides in South America and Central America.

What Class Of Animal Does A Spider Monkey Belong To?

This spider monkey species is a monkey that belongs to the Mammalia class. It falls under the genus Ateles, which also includes six other species of spider monkeys. Other spider monkey subspecies include the black spider monkey, the brown-headed spider monkey, the Guiana spider monkey, the brown spider monkey, the white-bellied spider monkey, and the white-cheeked spider monkey.

How Many Spider Monkeys Are There In The World?

There isn’t any accurate and verifiable data that can attest to the exact number of these monkeys currently present in the world.

Where Does A Spider Monkey Live?

These primates can most commonly be found throughout countries in Central and South America. They can be found in Columbia, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Honduras, Venezuela, El Salvador, Mexico, Panama, and Nicaragua.

What Is A Spider Monkey’s Habitat?

Spider monkeys are arboreal creatures that love to reside in treetops and canopies at high altitudes. They can be primarily found in semideciduous trees in forests, mangrove trees in forests, and rainforests, cloud forests, and other forests found in tropical areas.

Who Do Spider Monkeys Live With?

Geoffroy’s spider monkeys and other spider monkeys are extremely sociable and live together in large groups. Sometimes these groups include more than 35 individuals. You might see them hopping in conjunction from different branches in the zoo. During the day, they often split up into smaller groups in order to find food, both in the wild and in the zoo. Being together in groups helps them be safe from predators, an ordeal that they only deal with in their natural habitat, not at a zoo.

How Long Does A Spider Monkey Live?

In the wild, these animals commonly live for more than 24 years. On average most males and females live for a duration of 27 years. On the other hand, reports say that in captivity some black-handed spider monkeys have lived up to 47 years.

How Do They Reproduce?

The process of reproduction is mainly spearheaded by a female black-handed spider monkey present in Central and South America. They are often very selective in choosing a mate. The mating takes place within a two to three day period. The gestation period for these animals lasts between 226 and 232 days and their body changes drastically during the reproduction process. In the wild, these animals generally only give birth once every two to four years producing a single offspring.

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