Geoffroy’s spider monkey

Hooks for hands…

Michael Schamis

The spectrum of body colors exhibited by this species, ranging from buff and reddish hues to rusty, brown, or even black, not only illustrates the genetic diversity present within the species but also reflects the varied habitats in which these primates are found. The dark or black coloration of their hands and feet, contrasted with the often paler mask-like area around their eyes and muzzle, provides them with a distinctive appearance that enhances their expressiveness and aids in social interactions.

One of the most striking physical attributes of Geoffroy’s Spider Monkey is its prehensile tail, a marvel of evolutionary adaptation that functions as a fifth limb. This tail is incredibly strong and versatile, capable of supporting the monkey’s entire weight as it navigates through the treetops with astonishing agility. The tail’s tactile sensitivity allows it to grasp and manipulate objects, aiding in foraging and locomotion.

The limb proportions of Geoffroy’s Spider Monkey further emphasize its arboreal lifestyle, with arms that are significantly longer than its legs. This disparity in limb length, coupled with the presence of slender thumbs and long, hook-like fingers, enables a brachiation movement style. This unique form of locomotion involves the monkey swinging from branch to branch beneath the canopy, allowing for efficient travel through the forest while minimizing energy expenditure.

As herbivores, Geoffroy’s Spider Monkeys play a crucial role in their ecosystem, primarily feeding on a diet rich in fruits. This dietary preference makes them vital agents of seed dispersal, contributing to the health and diversity of their rainforest habitats. In addition to fruit, their diet includes buds, leaves, blossoms, bark, insects, honey, and flowers, indicating a flexible feeding strategy that allows them to adapt to the seasonal availability of food resources.


Population est.
Costa Rica
El Salvador

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Terrestrial / Aquatic

Altricial / Precocial

Polygamous / Monogamous

Dimorphic / Monomorphic

Active: Diurnal (size) / Nocturnal

Social behavior: Solitary / Pack / Herd / Group

Diet: Carnivore / Herbivore / Omnivore / Piscivorous / Insectivore

Migratory: Yes / No

Domesticated: Yes / No

Dangerous: Yes / No

Geoffroy’s spider monkey on banknotes

Venezuela 100 Bolivares