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Brown spider monkey

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Brown spider monkey
Brown spider monkey.jpg
Scientific Classification
Ateles hybridus

Ateles hybridus

Brown Spider Monkeys are an endangered species of spider monkey known by the scientific name Ateles hybridus . They have very long limbs which is partially where they get their name [1] Brown Spider Monkeys don't have thumbs but they will often use their tale as a fifth hand. They have very long coarse hair. Males and females are often the same size and there are only a few things that make a noticeable difference between them [2] The monkeys live in packs. They usually only live up in the trees and rarely come down. Usually the monkeys will only have one baby. Some spider monkeys have been known to live up to fifty years [3]

The Brown Spider Monkey only lives in subtropical and tropical moist temperatures. They prefer and old undisturbed forest. The monkeys are known for being very loud in communicating with each other. Their diet consists of fruit, nuts, bird eggs, leaves and many other things found in the trees of a tropical rainforest [4] The number of Brown Spider Monkeys is decreasing every year. They are in the top 25 endangered species. There is much to do if people want to help save this animal from becoming extinct. They need to take action and be aware of what is going on in the world around us [5]

Body Design

Brown Spider Monkeys are about seven to ten inches long and they weigh around fifteen pounds. The monkeys have very long limbs which is one of the reasons they are called Spider Monkeys. Their tails are extremely long, and can be anywhere from two to three feet long and are often used as a fifth hand [6] When they are climbing in trees, tails are useful because they can have their hands free to grab food. When the monkey is looking for something it will stand on its back two legs and use its tail as a balancing tool. One arm stride of a Spider Monkey can stretch up to forty feet [7] The monkey's hands don't have thumbs; they have long fingers that are useful to them when they are climbing in trees [8]

The Brown Spider Monkeys have long hair that tends to be coarse, but on some monkeys it will tend to be thinner and softer [9] Their coloring is anywhere from brown to black and it differs all over their bodies. Usually the monkey's hands and feet are black and the head is brown. This is why they are sometimes called the Brown Headed Spider Monkey. These monkey's faces are typically hairless. The monkey's skin ranges in color but typically looks black. Their tails are hairless for about three and a half inches at the tip. This makes it easier for the monkey to grasp onto things [10] Male and female monkeys are around the same size. The main way that you can tell the difference between the male and the female is that the male has noticeably longer canine teeth [11]

Life Cycle

Brown Spider Monkeys usually live in packs of around one hundred when times are good, but when times get hard they often branch off into groups anywhere from two to twenty. The males will stay with the packs that they were born in while females will wonder around to different groups. The males job is to protect the pack but they lead a much less active life than the females. The females take care of their babies and make sure that everyone is fed. They are much better at hunting for food. Females groom their babies and eventually teach them how to find their own food. Brown Spider Monkeys live high in trees in the jungle and hardly ever come down. They sleep in the trees to stay away from predators. During the day the monkeys will look for food and play. Their diet consists of fruit, nuts, insects, and sometimes birds eggs [12]

Females on average only have one baby but sometimes will have more. The gestation period for the monkey is about nine months which is typically the same as a human. When the baby monkey is first born it is a little less then one pound. The average monkey baby will nurse for a little over one year [13] A young monkey needs its mother to survive for the first ten weeks of its life. After the ten weeks it can survive but it will stick around its mother for around a year. Then after a year the monkey will begin to venture off in the pack or even separate from the pack [14] A female monkey reaches sexual maturity around four years old while a male around five years. The average lifespan for a spider monkey is twenty-two years, but some who have been in captivity have been known to live for up to fifty years [15]

Ecology

Brown Spider Monkeys only live in subtropical and tropical moist temperatures. They prefer old undisturbed forests [16] They are native to Columbia, Ecuador, and Panama. They are becoming an endangered species due to hunting and habitat loss. They spend most of their time on the upper levels of the rainforest. Sometimes they come down to the middle level of the rainforest. They are rarely ever seen on the ground unless they come down for water. The monkeys spend most of their time swinging through the branches and hardly ever run or walk on all fours. They travel in packs of around twenty or thirty but are hardly ever seen together. Groups that travel together have a home range that is their most used area [17]

Brown Spider Monkeys use many different calls to communicate with each other. They use their calls to communicate location mostly. These monkeys have a variety of different calls and are usually very loud. The monkeys will use whinnies, woops, wails, and screams to talk to each other. They also have specific calls to warn each other when predators are near [18] They feed off of the fruits and leaves that grow up in the trees, they also eat nuts and flowers. These monkeys are seed dispersers. With all the seeds they eat they help to spread them across the rainforest. The monkeys can eat certain plants that other animals can't digest which they help disperse. With the decrease of population in these monkeys it could really mess with the forest dynamics [19]

Endangerment and Conservation

Brown Spider Monkeys are an endangered species. The number is decreasing more and more every year. The main causes of their endangerment are hunting and environment destruction. Their population has dropped over eighty percent in the last fifty years [20] A few populations of these monkeys have already been extinct and there aren't enough populations for these monkeys to live long term [21] These monkeys are large and visible which make them easy for hunters to get. But they have such slow reproductive rates that it makes it hard for them to replenish their population. There are some protected areas for these monkeys but it is still hard for them to remain safe and to rebuild their population. Also because they live in such specific environments it makes it hard for the monkeys to prosper. There environments are steadily decreasing all the time due to deforestation. In 2006 Brown Spiders were placed on the worlds twenty five most endangered primates list [22]

In order to protect this species long term there would be a lot that would have to happen. You would have to study the environment in which they live, make and active attempt to slow down deforestation, and also raise awareness [23]

References

  1. Spider Monkeys- General CharacteristicsScience Jrank. web. 27 February 2013 (date accessed).
  2. Spider Monkeys!Bethsaida Farms, Inc. web. 27 February 2013 (date accessed).
  3. Spider MonkeyNational Geographic. web. 27 February 2013 (date accessed).
  4. Ateles hybridus brown spider monkeyAnimal Diversity Web. web. 27 February 2013 (date accessed).
  5. Near extinct spider monkey spottedOur Amazing Planet. web. 27 February 2013 (date accessed).
  6. Spider Monkey InformationJungle Walk. web. 27 February 2013 (date accessed).
  7. Spider Monkeys!Bethdaida Farms, Inc. web. 27 February 2013 (date accessed).
  8. Spider Monkey InformationJungle Walk. web. 27 February 2013 (date accessed).
  9. Spider Monkeys- General CharacteristicsScience Jrank. web. 27 February 2013 (date accessed).
  10. Spider Monkeys!Bethdaida Farms, Inc. web. 27 February 2013 (date accessed).
  11. Spider Monkeys- General CharacteristicsScience Jrank. web. 27 February 2013 (date accessed).
  12. Life Cycle of a Spider Monkeyehow. web. 27 February 2013 (date accessed).
  13. Ateles fusciceps brown-headed spider monkeyAnimal Diversity Web. web. 27 February 2013 (date accessed).
  14. Spider MonkeyNational Geographic. web. 27 February 2013 (date accessed).
  15. Ateles fusciceps brown-headed spider monkeyAnimal Diversity Web. web. 27 February 2013 (date accessed).
  16. Ateles fusciceps brown-headed spider monkeyAnimal Diversity Web. web. 27 February 2013 (date accessed).
  17. Ateles fuscicepsRed List. web. 27 February 2013 (date accessed).
  18. Ateles fusciceps brown-headed spider monkeyAnimal Diversity Web. web. 27 February 2013 (date accessed).
  19. Ateles fuscicepsRed List. web. 27 February 2013 (date accessed).
  20. Near-Extinct Spider Monkey SpottedOur Amazing Planet. web. 27 February 2013 (date accessed).
  21. Save the Brown Spider MonkeyCare 2 Petition Site. web. 27 February 2013 (date accessed).
  22. Variegated spider monkey (Ateles hybridus)Arkive. web. 27 February 2013 (date accessed).
  23. About the projectSpider Monkey Conservation Project. web. 27 February 2013 (date accessed).