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Black-Handed Spider Monkey

CONSERVATION STATUS : ENDANGERED
COMMON EXTINCT
Classification:

Other Common Names: Spider Monkey
Order: Primates
Genus & Species: Ateles geoffroyi
Family: Cebidae

Status:

IUCN Red List: Endangered.

Range:

Northeastern Mexico to the Amazon Basin.

Habitat:

Rain forests, mountain forests.

Activity:

Diurnal.

Size:

13-18 pounds; head and body 15-20″ long; tail as long as 35″.

Longevity:

30 plus years in captivity.

Diet:

Mostly fruit; also eat leaves, buds, flowers, insects, and spiders.

Description:

“SPIDERY” describes this monkey: arms, legs and tail very long. The tail is longer than the head and body, and is prehensile. The under surface of the tail tip is bare and ridged to improve the grasp. Often seen hanging by the tail or by the tail and one arm or leg. Thumbs reduced or missing, and the fingers act together as hooks to grasp branches as these agile monkeys move through the tree branches.

Reproduction:

Offspring: Usually 1.

Incubation: 139 days.

Parental care: Extensive care by female for about ten months. Babies cling to her belly for several months and then ride on her back. Gives birth at approximately three year intervals. Breeding age is four years for females and five years for males.

Ecology, Adaptations, Etc:

Very gregarious, family groups often traveling with others in large troops (bands). Spend most of their lives in the trees. Males usually dominate females and juveniles, but over aggression is rare. Spider monkeys in nature sometimes join Capuchins and Squirrel Monkeys in feeding bands.

Comments:

As with most primates, habitat destruction poses the greatest threat to their survival.   Spider monkeys are quite vocal and have several different calls. Unlike most species of primates, the dominant males groom others more than others groom them. Social grooming takes up much less time in these monkeys than in most Old World monkeys. Spider Monkeys are “New World Monkeys.” People often mis-identify the gender of Spider Monkeys because females have extended clitorises.