Scientific name: Ateles geoffroyi yucatanensis
Spider Monkeys are among the most intelligent-- it’s no wonder they can be so enjoyable to watch!
Photo Credit: Wikipedia Commons
The Yucatan Spider Monkeys have black hair that is bristly and often matted. They also have a tan colour around their eyes, whiskers, chin and head area. Although males and females look similar, the female Spider Monkeys tend to be a little bigger in size but weigh less; their average weight is 19 pounds.
This specie is well-known for their acrobatic talents-- the long, lanky arms and prehensile tails help them move gracefully from tree to tree. One long stride can cover up to 40 feet! Impressive! Their long tails are also used to eat, either by hanging in suspension or picking up food. As a result, they can consume large amounts of foods in little time. Their diet consists of fruits and seeds and the occasional leaves, flowers and decaying wood but they also eat insects and bird eggs on rare occasions.
Where do they live? In large trees that contain vast amounts of fruits which can be the home of up to 100 monkeys! But they keep their distance from each other as they are quarrelsome feeders. Monkeys that get to the tree later always wait until the new comers are done to avoid any conflict. Although the male Spider Monkeys are dominant, the females have much more say on route the troops will take to forage for food—they are the ones that make the big decisions for the group.
At nighttime, monkeys find the tallest trees with a free crown that helps them have better access to fruits and be safe from predators. If anybody dares to step across such territory, the monkeys will scream and throw feces at the intruders. (We’ll keep our distance).
Photo Credit: MexAdventures
Every 2 to 3 years, females will give birth to one infant. She will be pregnant for 7 to 8 months and will carry it on her back for 2 years after birth. The baby climbs on her parent and wraps its tail around its mother’s, while they forage for food or sleep at night. The mom is an independent parent since the males have no role in the offspring’s caring. Spider Monkeys can live for about 25 years on average.
If you would like to be entertained by this specie and their acrobatic talents, visit our Belize Luxury Resort, the Belize Zoo or one of our Maya temple tours. Our friends are always up to some fun or just hanging around.