Spider monkeys are primitive monkeys of the New World found in Central and South America. Why the spider, you ask? Well, because they hang from the trees all the time! In fact, while they hold onto different branches, their long limbs and tail form a shape like a spider! But, did you know these incredible animals hug each other when they meet? Wishing greetings, but also deflecting confrontations, this acts as a precaution!
Where can we find spider monkeys?
Found in Central and South America, these primates occur in Mexico and Brazil. Moreover, they inhabit huge rainforest areas, as they need a large home range. However, they will also seek areas with canopy, preferring wet areas. Yet, these adaptable creatures will thrive in drier locations, too.
How do spider monkeys look?
Well, they don’t look like a spider! Thus, these primates are usually all black, although some of them have rings around their eyes of flesh color. The hair is coarse, with no fur beneath it. Moreover, the color can range from golden and red, to brown and black, while the hands and feet are black. Their bodies and extremities are long and slender. Yet, the prehensile tail is used as an extra hand! So, you can see why these animals are excellent climbers. Finally, as one of the largest New World monkeys, they can grow up to 20 inches in length, and weigh about 24 pounds.
Naturally, like most of their relatives, these monkeys are omnivores, eating a variety of food. However, about 80% of their diet is fruits and nuts. Of course, they eat leaves and flowers, but something concrete as well. Therefore, they will enrich their diet with eggs, insects, and arachnids.
Just like the lion-tail macaques, spider monkeys are also polygynous, one male mating with multiple females. Yet, this can become tricky, since our female can be very picky! In fact, females are very particular about who they will mate with, and even may reject several males before choosing the right one! Naturally, they choose the time of breeding as well. Finally, when all set, the mother will give birth to a single infant after 7, 8 months. They will spend time together exploring, chasing, and playing with other monkeys. The baby is constantly with the mother, attached, and after 5 months it will climb on her back, and even wrap her with its long tail.
Did you know these monkeys have a nickname of trapeze artists of the jungle? No wonder, they are extremely agile and a lot of fun to watch!
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