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.
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.
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.
Spider Monkeys give Hugs
Spider monkeys are very friendly. In fact, when two different groups meet each other, they will often give hugs to show that there is no threat. They help to protect each other by barking out to warn the group if there are predators around. Spider monkeys would much rather scare the predator away or run, than stay and fight.
Because spider monkeys are so friendly, and the babies are so cute, they are often captured and taken as pets. They are very commonly seen in zoos around the world, too. Spider monkeys are also facing other problems like loss of habitat, predation, and hunting. Many species of spider monkeys are endangered because of these dangers.
Spider monkeys are new world monkeys that have long arms, legs, and tails. They live most of their lives in the trees and look like spiders as they move around frequently in search of food. Spider monkeys are peaceful, social animals that are in danger because their habitat is being destroyed.
To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account
Register to view this lesson
Unlock Your Education
See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com
Become a Study.com member and start learning now.Become a Member
Already a member? Log InBack