Spider Monkey Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Ryan Newton
Spider monkeys are one of the largest new world monkeys. They live in rainforests and use their long arms, legs, and tails to easily move through the trees. These monkeys are not only unique, but unfortunately, many of them are endangered. In this lesson, you will learn about spider monkeys and how they live.

Stop Monkeying Around

Has your mother of father ever told you to stop monkeying around? It's not an unusual way for parents to get their children to settle down and stop acting foolish. I wonder what monkey parents tell their kids? Maybe to stop kidding around!

All kidding aside, there are almost 300 different kinds of monkeys on Earth. Most of them live on the continent of Africa, but new world monkeys are those that live in Central and South America. Spider monkeys are one of the largest new world monkeys.

Do They look like Spiders?

Spider monkeys live in the canopy layer of rain forests in Southern Mexico, Central, and South America. They get their name because of their unusually long arms, legs, and tails. They can sometimes resemble spiders as they move through the trees.

There are seven different kinds of spider monkeys. They vary in color, but most are either brown or black. Spider monkeys can weigh up to 20 pounds. They don't have thumbs like most monkeys, but that doesn't prevent them from gripping branches. There can also use their strong tails to hang and swing in the trees.

Spider monkey
spider monkey

Do They Always Stay in the Trees?

As a matter of fact, spider monkeys do spend almost all of their time high in the trees. They eat fruits, seeds, leaves, and flowers. Because of their long arms and strong tails they can easily move around from tree to tree.

Spider monkeys are social animals. They commonly live in groups of about 30. These groups are led by a female who decides exactly how big the group should be. At night, they sleep high in the trees to avoid predators, and during the day they go out in small groups to look for food.

long, strong tail
black spider monkey

Helping the Rainforests

Because spider monkeys spend most of their lives in trees, it's important for them to be able to move around and find food. If there is not a lot of food around, then they have to split up into smaller groups in order to survive. All of the moving around provides a very valuable service to the rainforest.

Spider monkeys eat mostly fruits and seeds. When they are eating they will often drop seeds on the ground, which helps the forest to grow new trees. They help to keep the forest healthy and growing by moving seeds around and dropping them in new places.

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