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Geoffroy's Spider Monkey

By Rani Iyer




Geoffroy's Spider Monkey

Scientific Name: Ateles geoffroyi

If you are ready to shake hands with the spider monkey, you will notice some remarkable things about the hand. You will be shaking a long, black-hand, with a vestigial, or poorly developed, thumb and strong hook-like fingers.

You can find spider monkeys, in the rainforests from Mexico to Central America. There are five subspecies of Geoffroy’s spider monkey. Nicaragua, Hooded spider monkey, Ornate spider monkey, Mexican, and Yucatan subspecies of spider monkeys. But their needs are the same.

The chances are that you find them in a large ‘society’ with 20 or more monkeys. Even in these forests, they are pretty rare. Spider monkeys weigh about 9 kg (20 lb). They love ripe and fleshy fruits. They search for the fruits high up in the canopy. They also eat tender leaf sprouts, which are rich in protein. Seeds, honey, insects, bark, and flowers are also important food they love.

To get so many different kinds of food, spider monkeys travel a lot. Spider monkey groups require about 2,200 acres (900 hectares) to find enough food. Imagine their fate when large trees are cut down in forests.

The survival of spider monkey and trees are intertwined. The spider monkey is almost entirely arboreal. This means, they live on canopy trees. They walk and run on their four limbs on the trees. Their tail is prehensile, which curls up and supports while swinging.

Spider monkeys sometimes come to the ground. But, they also cross between trees by ‘bridging.’ To move from one tree to another, the spider monkey grabs a branch from the new tree and pulls it closer. Then, it climbs on to it and moves on. They can also leap between trees.

The spider monkeys have high intelligence. They are ahead of gorillas and right behind orangutans and chimpanzees. Yet, they can’t live without their habitat, the forests and trees. If we save the forests and trees, we are saving several undiscovered species. Let us do our best!

Teacher Resources - here are some ideas to incorporate spider monkeys in lessons:

Use Folktales to introduce spider monkey in the class

Reading comprehension on spider monkey

Endangered Primate Lesson plans

Asking structured questions in a lesson plan on Food Web to introduce spider monkey

Spider monkey introduced in survival lesson plans (high school)







Animal profiles

Birds
Bare-Faced Ibis
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Hoatzin
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Malachite Kingfisher
Mealy Parrot
Northern Cassowary
Savanna hawk
Scale-crested pygmy-tyrant
Rhinoceros Hornbill
Scarlet Ibis
Wattled Jacana

Mammals
Asian black bear
Black-and-white ruffed lemur
Black-faced spider monkey
Bornean Rhino
Brown capuchin monkey
Capybara [2nd profile]
Coquerel's Sifaka
Crowned Lemur
Eastern Long Beaked Echidna
Howler Monkey
Kinkajou
Malagasy Giant Jumping Rat
Malayan Tapir
Margay
Mountain Gorilla
Plains Zebranot a rainforest species
Puma
South American tapir
South American coatimundi
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Spider Monkey
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White-lipped peccary
Woolly Monkey


Reptiles
Green Basilisk
Leatherback Sea Turtlenot a rainforest species
Pygmy stump-tailed chameleon
Spectacled Caiman


Amphibians
Giant Chinese Salamander
Gladiator Tree Frog
Green Poison Arrow Frog
Indian Purple Frog
Monkey Frog
Male Black-handed Spider Monkey (Ateles geoffroyi)
Male Black-handed Spider Monkey (Ateles geoffroyi)

(Belize)

Male spider monkey standing
Male spider monkey standing

(Belize)

Spider monkey (Ateles geoffroyi ornatus)
Spider monkey (Ateles geoffroyi ornatus)

(Costa Rica)

Spider monkey hanging in a tree
Spider monkey hanging in a tree

(Belize)

Spider monkey hanging in a tree
Spider monkey hanging in a tree

(Belize)

Spider monkey (Ateles geoffroyi ornatus)
Spider monkey (Ateles geoffroyi ornatus)

(Costa Rica)

Spider monkey
Spider monkey

(Belize)

Geoffroy's Spider Monkey -  Ateles geoffroyi
Geoffroy's Spider Monkey - Ateles geoffroyi

(Belize)


Mexican Spider Monkey (Ateles geoffroyi vellerosus)


Spider monkey in a yoga pose
Spider monkey in a yoga pose

(Belize)

Spider monkey (Ateles geoffroyi ornatus) feeding on a tamarind
Spider monkey (Ateles geoffroyi ornatus) feeding on a tamarind

(Costa Rica)


Mexican Spider Monkey feeding in the forest canopy



Mexican Spider Monkey (Ateles geoffroyi vellerosus)



Mexican Spider Monkey (Ateles geoffroyi vellerosus)


Spider monkey (Ateles geoffroyi ornatus) feeding on a tamarind
Spider monkey (Ateles geoffroyi ornatus) feeding on a tamarind

(Costa Rica)

Spider monkey (Ateles geoffroyi ornatus)
Spider monkey (Ateles geoffroyi ornatus)

(Costa Rica)

Spider monkey
Spider monkey

(Guatemala)


Mexican Spider Monkey (Ateles geoffroyi vellerosus)



Mexican Spider Monkey (Ateles geoffroyi vellerosus)



Mexican Spider Monkey (Ateles geoffroyi vellerosus)



Mexican Spider Monkey (Ateles geoffroyi vellerosus)


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