All seven species of Spider Monkeys are under threat of extinction with four listed as endangered and two are listed as critically endangered with the IUCN.
Spider Monkeys are new world monkeys that can be found from the Caribbean Coast of Mexico to northern regions of South America. The Spider Monkey inhabits rainforest, semideciduous forest, mangrove swamp and evergreen forest. It can be seen in Tortuguero National Park, Santa Rosa National Park, La Selva Biological Station and the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve in Costa Rica.
Mating & Reproduction
Spider Monkeys live in groups, and a female will pick a mate when she is ready. They will continue to make sure that they are both capable and prepared to procreate by sniffing each other’s genitals. After copulation, gestation normally ranges from 226 to 232 days. The female then bears one young, and will continue to do so in increments of two to four years.
Males do not assist in raising the young. The little Spider Monkeys cling to their mother’s belly for the first month, and then they ride on her back afterwards. Mothers groom their young, and they pull trees closer together for them to cross wider expanses when they are still unable to do it themselves.
They live in groups of 12 to 25 individuals, and maintain a social structure similar to chimps and people. Spider Monkeys maintain subgroups, and females will leave their original group once they reach puberty. Males maintain bonds with their original group throughout their entire lives. This differentiate the species from almost every other primate group.
Spider Monkeys are diurnal and arboreal. Spider Monkeys forage for fruit, leaves, insects, seeds, bark, honey and flowers. They generally have a lead female that will choose the path that the group follows when searching for food.
One of the more prevalent species in Costa Rica is Geoffroy’s Spider Monkey; named for French naturalist Étiene Geoffroy Saint-Hillaire. The Spider Monkey is considered the most intelligent of New World monkeys.
Where to see it in Costa Rica: Tortuguero National Park, Santa Rosa National Park, La Selva Biological Station, Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve
Diet: fruit, leaves, insects, seeds, bark, honey, flowers
Migration Pattern: non-migratory
Habitat: rainforest, semideciduous forest, mangrove swamp, evergreen forest
Size: length=30-63 cm weight=6-9 kg tail=63-85 cm
Species: Simia paniscus, Ateles geoffroyi