Baby Spider Monkey Facts

Written by helen fitzgerald
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Baby Spider Monkey Facts
Spider monkeys live in evergreen rainforests of Latin America. (Anup Shah/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Spider monkeys are very rare primates that are found from Mexico through to South America. Being arboreal, they spend almost their entire lives in trees and in the canopies of the rainforest. At about the age of 4 to 5 years old the female of the species is able to give birth to what is almost always a purely black baby spider monkey. The average lifespan of the spider monkey is about 27 years.

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Food

A baby spider monkey depends on its mother's milk for about two years. Then, it will make the transition to a spider monkey's normal diet of fleshy seeded fruits although it will also eat decaying trees and bark, honey, insects and larvae. It will also eat young leaves, flowers and aerial roots. They do not pick the fruit and take it away to be eaten but rather eat it on the spot -- usually while hanging from their tails.

Habitat

The baby spider monkey will spend most of its life in the trees and amongst the canopies of the great rainforests of Mexico and South America. It will sleep very close to its mother, high above the forest floor, in open branches that generally rise above the canopy. These trees are usually chosen for close proximity to food and are also a useful way of avoiding predators.

Social Structure

The baby spider monkey will spend most of its very early life clinging to its mother. In fact the relationship between the mother and her offspring is the strongest observable social relationship in any group of spider monkeys. Once a spider monkey is old enough to be somewhat independent, it will play happily with other spider monkeys its own age and also with adults in the small groups in which it associates -- usually a very loose grouping of 30 or so primates, and more closer groupings of four to five primates.

Transport

Young spider monkeys are transported everywhere by their mothers. From birth until about 5 months of age, a baby spider monkey will be transported by clinging onto the front of the mother's underbelly ventrum. After 5 months, they will make the transition to riding on the mothers back. From the age of two years, they are somewhat independent and are able to transport themselves

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