Sunday Monkey Facts
This post is sponsored by SAASA and Monkeyland
Fun Facts about Spider Monkeys
Spider monkeys are named that way because they hang from the trees by holding different branches with their limbs and long tails, "shaped" like spiders. The prehensile tail is so strong and well-developed for arboreal life that it can be used as an extra arm. The tail even lacks hair on the underside so that the monkey can get a better grip on a branch while using both hands to gather fruit. The tail is also very long and they have the ability to pick things up and hold them with that tail.
Spider monkeys do not have a thumb. Their four fingers are curved and look like a hook, which is special adaptation to the life in the forest. The spider monkey’s genus refers to its absent thumb; in Greek ateles means 'not complete'." In reality, though, the spider monkey is simply more specialized and the thumb has evolved away because it isn't needed. Their hands have only vestigial thumbs, the tiny nub left over from their ancestors, who did have thumbs. The absence of this extra digit gives the spider monkey a more hook-like hand with long slender fingers, providing a better grip to swing from branch to branch in its arboreal abode. Spider monkeys do have opposable thumbs on their feet, like most other primate species.
Spider monkey troops are matriarchal, meaning the females play a leadership role.
Rather than leap from tree to tree, spider monkeys are specialists at swinging from limb to limb, and can clear great distances in a single swing. Spider monkeys can cover as much as 40 feet of distance with a single powerful swoosh of their arms. The hook-like hands discussed above, as well as extra mobile shoulder joints assist spider monkeys with their impressive moves.
These are very fast and agile Monkeys.
The Spider Monkey is well known for being a chatterbox. They depend on their vocalization for warning each other of problems, for bonding, for protecting their young, and even for protecting their environment. They are able to move quickly and will do so in order to stay safe.
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