White-bellied spider monkey

With its long limbs, thumbless hands, and graceful movements, this monkey gracefully resembles a spider in the tree canopy

Fábio Manfredini

With its long limbs, thumbless hands, and graceful movements, this monkey gracefully resembles a spider in the tree canopy

50% decline over the last 45 years

Characterized by its elongated limbs that facilitate effortless swinging and navigation through the trees, this species is a remarkable example of arboreal mastery. The dense, soft fur covering its body typically manifests in shades of black or dark brown, providing both warmth and camouflage in the verdant environment. However, it is the stark contrast of its white belly that lends the White-bellied Spider Monkey its name, creating a distinctive appearance that sets it apart from other primates in its habitat.

Among the most fascinating aspects of this monkey is its prehensile tail, a remarkable evolutionary adaptation that allows for extraordinary dexterity and utility. This tail functions as an additional limb, capable of grasping and holding objects with precision. Such functionality is invaluable in the rainforest canopy, where mobility and stability are paramount for survival. Whether it’s for reaching distant branches or carrying food and young ones, the prehensile tail enhances the White-bellied Spider Monkey’s ability to move with grace and efficiency, truly embodying the essence of an arboreal lifestyle.

Communication among White-bellied Spider Monkeys is highly developed, utilizing a complex array of vocalizations, facial expressions, and body gestures. These calls and screeches serve various purposes, from coordinating movements within the troop to signaling alarm or establishing social bonds. This rich tapestry of communication underscores the social nature of these primates and their reliance on collective cooperation for foraging, navigation, and predator avoidance.

In their role as seed dispersers, White-bellied Spider Monkeys contribute significantly to the health and regeneration of their rainforest habitat. Their foraging habits, which include consuming a variety of fruits, inadvertently aid in spreading seeds throughout the forest. This activity is crucial for the proliferation of diverse plant species, ensuring the continued growth and sustainability of the rainforest ecosystem.


Population est.
Amazonas, Roraima

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Terrestrial / Aquatic

Altricial / Precocial

Polygamous / Monogamous

Dimorphic (size) / Monomorphic

Active: Diurnal / Nocturnal

Social behavior: Solitary / Pack / Herd / Troop

Diet: Carnivore / Herbivore / Omnivore / Piscivorous / Insectivore

Migratory: Yes / No

Domesticated: Yes / No

Dangerous: Yes / No