10 Fascinating Facts About Spider Monkeys

Spider Monkeys

Spider Monkeys are New World Monkeys that belong to the family ‘Atelidae’ or the family of Howler and Woolly Monkeys. They are named Spider Monkeys due to their long spindly limbs, resembling that of spiders. Spider Monkeys are found in tropical rainforests of Central and South America. Here are some 10 fascinating facts about spider monkeys:

1.Spider Monkeys have a unique physical appearance.

Spider Monkeys

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Spider Monkeys are large monkeys having an average weight of 9 to 11 kg. They have very flexible and hairless tipped prehensile tails with a length of 35 inches. They have small heads with hairless faces. The hair on their skin is rough, ranging in color from ruddy gold to brown and black including some rare species with white hairs. 

They have long narrow and hook-like hands with elongated and recurved fingers and reduced thumbs. Instead of using arms while walking they use their prehensile tails for balancing. 

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They have different skin grooves just like humans have fingerprints. The most distinguishing feature of the spider monkey is its nostrils, which are very far apart. 

2.Highly Arboreal Habitat

Spider Monkeys

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Spider Monkeys prefer undisturbed primary forests including large tracts of moist evergreen forests. They reside in the upper layers of the rainforest while foraging in the high canopy, from 25 to 30 m. 

Spider Monkeys are one of the most agile monkeys in the world and can be seen jumping from tree to tree in the wild.

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3.Diet of Spider Monkeys

Spider Monkeys eating fruits

They typically eat fleshy fruits, but occasionally, when the food is scarce, they also include leaves, flowers, birds eggs, and insects in their diet. Sometimes they swallow the whole fruits with seeds, which are eventually excreted and fertilized by feces. 

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4.Spider Monkeys mostly rely on fruits, so they play a crucial role in seed dispersal in their ecosystem. 

5.Behavior Patterns

Spider Monkeys living in social groups

They form groups of 15 to 25 individuals which sometimes extend up to 30 or 40. During the day, they break up into small groups to avoid food competition and the risk of predation. Spider Monkeys produce a variety of vocalizations and show expressions according to the situation or scare away the possible threat. 

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6.They bark loudly, similar to a dog, if they see any human approaching, while they climb to the end of the branch and shake it vigorously when another monkey approaches them. 

spider monkey hanging from tree

 

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7.Spider Monkeys are diurnal, which means they are active during the day and spend the night sleeping on selected trees. 

8.Spider Monkeys are slightly sexually dimorphic: Male monkeys are heavier than females. 

9.Female Spider monkeys choose a male for mating.

Female monkeys choose any male from her group for mating and give birth to only one offspring after a gestation period of 225 to 235 days. 

10.Male Spider monkeys do not participate in raising offspring, but mothers are very attentive.

Spider Monkey female with her baby

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Mother Spider monkeys are highly attentive to their offspring and carry them around their belly for the first month after birth. When they navigate tree to tree for food, they put their babies on their backs for security.  

The young monkey relies completely on its mother until six to ten months of age. 

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Spider Monkeys are truly one of the most extraordinary species, showcasing unique adaptations and contributing ecosystems. By preserving their habitat and raising awareness about their conservation, we can ensure their continued existence in the wild. 

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