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Spider Monkey (Ateles geoffroyi paniscus)



The Spider Monkey

Have you ever played the game called Barrel of Monkeys?  The Spider Monkey plays a real-life version of this game when it hooks tails with its babies.  While the mother hangs from a tree, the young monkeys can be seen hanging by their tails from their mothers tail.  A quiet intruder observing a group of Spider Monkeys may hear what sounds like a horse whinny.  Researchers believe this to be a greeting call.

From the southern portions of Mexico down to Bolivia and Brazil’s Matto Grosso, the Spider Monkey makes its home. The tropical rainforest provides a comfortable environment for the monkeys to inhabit.

The Spider Monkey grows to be only fifteen to twenty-five inches tall, but has a tail that is between 20 and 35 inches long. Weighing in at twelve to sixteen pounds, this little monkey has a very small head.  Its fur is not soft and silky because it lacks a coat of underfur. This causes its golden, red, buff, brown or black fur to have a coarse, shaggy appearance.  The hands of the Spider Monkey possess no thumbs, and the clitoris of the female is extremely elongated and visible.

Nearly three-fourths of the Spider Monkey’s diet consists of fruit. Certain young leaves and flowers may be eaten as well, but won’t spend a lot of time in the monkeys.  This species is known for its rapidly working digestive system.  It will take only four hours for food to completely pass through the Spider Monkey’s digestive system.

A female spider monkey carries its young for one hundred thirty-nine days before giving birth.  The cute little newborn Spider Monkey will be completely black for the next six months.  The first four of those months will be spent riding on his mother’s back.  In about ten months the baby will have outgrown his baby coloring and look very much like his parents.

Spider Monkey’s are diurnal (active during the day).  It can use its tail as an extra hand while it swings from branch to branch through the tropical rainforest.  This monkey is quadrupedal (walks on four legs), but is able to walk on two legs when it is on the ground and holds its tail curved high over its back.

Did you know?

There are no primates who live on the ground in the western hemisphere. 

The gibbon is the only monkey who exceeds the Spider Monkey in agility in swinging through the trees.

You can tell the hierarchy of a monkey within its band by the amount of time it spends grooming or being groomed.  The higher-ranking monkeys are groomed more by lower ranking monkeys.

 

Further Information on the Spider Monkey:

E-mail info@brazilianfauna.com to add your Spider Monkey related website.

 

 

Bibliography:

www.oaklandzoo.org/atoz/azspdmky.html

www.hensonrobinsonzoo.org/k001.html 

Oates, Joyce Carol.  (January 1977).  The Triumph of the Spider Monkey.  David R. Godine Pub.


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