A. paniscus, with arms and legs longer than the body. These monkeys also have a prehensile tail. differs from A. paniscus in that it has a pale or white triangular patch on the forehead. Another distinguishing characteristic of this species is that the dorsal side of the animal can range from black to dark or light brown whereas the ventral side is pale brown to white. These animals have bright whitish eyeshine. The prehensile tail of these monkeys is used for locomotion and foraging, and can range from 61 to 88 cm in length. The legs of this species are long and slender. Weight ranges from 5.9 to 10.4 kg. Male body length that ranges from 42 to 50 cm, whereas females can be anywhere from 34 to 59 cm. (Emmons, 1997; Schafer-Witt and Welker, 1990)has a similar shape to
Females give birth to one offspring every 2 to 4 years. Their estrus cycle is 24 to 27 days in length, and gestation length is between 210 and 225 days. (Emmons, 1997; Rudolph, 2002; Schafer-Witt and Welker, 1990)
Copulations are initiated by females, who approach males. Like other species of Ateles, it is likely that this pattern of initiating copulation leads to high levels of female mate choice, and reduces aggression between males. (Robinson and Janson, 1986)
Although not reported for this species, males in other species of spider monkeys which have been studied ejaculate after one mount and one series of thrusts. (Hrdy and Whitten, 1987)
The timing of sexual maturity in (Robinson and Janson, 1986)is not known, but is probably similar to other species in the genus. In these species, sexual maturity of both males and females occurs sometime between 4 and 5.5 years of age.
The exact time of weaning in this species is not known, but is similar to that of other spider monkeys. At 12 to 15 months the infants are weaned, but independence is not achieved until at least 17 months of age. As in most primates, females provide the bulk of parental care. Male parental behavior for this species has not been mentioned. (Robinson and Janson, 1986)
is highly social, and is active during the day. Groups of these animals range from 20 to 40 members, but they also split into smaller subgroups during the day to forage. This type of social organization is called fission-fusion sociality. Although most animals live within a social group, solitary individuals are reported to be common.
These monkeys move through the upper part of the canopy using their prehensile tails and limbs. Brachiation, arm swinging with the body below the branches, is an important mode of locomotion for these species. (Bramblett, 2001; Cant, et al., 2003; Emmons, 1997; Robinson and Janson, 1986; Rudolph, 2002; Schafer-Witt and Welker, 1990)
Species in the genus Ateles do not typically show a great deal of aggression to other members of the social group. However, in spite of this relatively non-aggressive existence, both males and females show clear dominance heirarchies. There does not appear to be a simple relationship between dominance ranking and reproductive success among males. Also, relationships between different groups of these primates are reported to be marked by intollerance. (Robinson and Janson, 1986)
Males tend to show more affiliative behaviors than do females within the genus Ateles. They are more affiliate both to other males and to females within their groups. Females often visit other groups while carrying newborn offspring, and young females are know to migrate into new groups permanently. (Robinson and Janson, 1986)
Most feeding occurs during the early morning and late afternoon and occasionally the animal is known to feed during nights with a bright moon. (Emmons, 1997)
Possible predators of this species may include felids or birds of prey such as eagles. (Broekema, 2002)
Although it occurs with only a few species of seeds, (Stevenson, et al., 2001)is known to occasionally increase the rate of germination of some plants. Because these animals eat mostly fruits that are rich in lipids, they may be the best dispersers for fruits that fall into this category.
There are no known benefits this species provides to humans.
There are no known adverse affects ofon humans.
is considered endangered by IUCN, and is listed on CITES Appendix I. The major threats to this species are loss of habitat through deforestation and hunting. National parks in Colombia aid to the conservation of as well as specific protected habitats and isolation of the habitats from development.
Nancy Shefferly (editor), Animal Diversity Web.
Jill Ceitlin (author), University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, Phil Myers (editor, instructor), Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.
living in the southern part of the New World. In other words, Central and South America.
uses sound to communicate
young are born in a relatively underdeveloped state; they are unable to feed or care for themselves or locomote independently for a period of time after birth/hatching. In birds, naked and helpless after hatching.
Referring to an animal that lives in trees; tree-climbing.
having body symmetry such that the animal can be divided in one plane into two mirror-image halves. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends. Synapomorphy of the Bilateria.
uses smells or other chemicals to communicate
ranking system or pecking order among members of a long-term social group, where dominance status affects access to resources or mates
animals that use metabolically generated heat to regulate body temperature independently of ambient temperature. Endothermy is a synapomorphy of the Mammalia, although it may have arisen in a (now extinct) synapsid ancestor; the fossil record does not distinguish these possibilities. Convergent in birds.
union of egg and spermatozoan
an animal that mainly eats fruit
An animal that eats mainly plants or parts of plants.
offspring are produced in more than one group (litters, clutches, etc.) and across multiple seasons (or other periods hospitable to reproduction). Iteroparous animals must, by definition, survive over multiple seasons (or periodic condition changes).
having the capacity to move from one place to another.
the area in which the animal is naturally found, the region in which it is endemic.
the kind of polygamy in which a female pairs with several males, each of which also pairs with several different females.
rainforests, both temperate and tropical, are dominated by trees often forming a closed canopy with little light reaching the ground. Epiphytes and climbing plants are also abundant. Precipitation is typically not limiting, but may be somewhat seasonal.
remains in the same area
reproduction that includes combining the genetic contribution of two individuals, a male and a female
associates with others of its species; forms social groups.
uses touch to communicate
Living on the ground.
the region of the earth that surrounds the equator, from 23.5 degrees north to 23.5 degrees south.
uses sight to communicate
reproduction in which fertilization and development take place within the female body and the developing embryo derives nourishment from the female.
breeding takes place throughout the year
Bramblett, C. 2001. "Primate Anatomy" (On-line). Accessed February 10, 2004 at http://uts.cc.utexas.edu/~bramblet/ant301/seven.html.
Broekema, I. 2002. "The Primate Foundation of Panama" (On-line). Accessed March 10, 2004 at http://www.primatesofpanama.org/index.html.
Cant, J., D. Youlatos, M. Rose. 2003. Suspensory locomotion of Lagothrix lagothricha and in Yasuni National Park, Ecuador. Journal of Human Evolution, 4: 685-699.
Eisenberg, J. 1989. Mammals of the Neotropics. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Emmons, L. 1997. Neotropical Rainforest Mammals: A Field Guide. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Heymann, E., F. Encarnacion, J. Canaquin. 2001. Primates of the Rio Curaray, Northern Peruvian Amazon. International Journal of Primatology, 23/1: 191-201.
Hrdy, S., P. Whitten. 1987. Patterning of Sexual Activity. Pp. 370-384 in B Smuts, D Cheney, R seyfarth, R Wrangham, T Strusaker, eds. Primate Societies. Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press.
Robinson, J., C. Janson. 1986. Capuchins, Squirrel Monkeys, and Atelines: Socioecological Convergence with Old World Primates. Pp. 69-82 in B Smuts, D Cheney, R Seyfarth, R Wrangham, T Struhsaker, eds. Primate Societies. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Rudolph, E. 2002. "Threatened Andean Species at the Ecozoological San Martin" (On-line). Accessed February 10, 2004 at http://www.sanmartinzoo.org/images/animals/spidermonkeyANDEAN.html.
Schafer-Witt, C., C. Welker. 1990. New World Monkeys. Pp. 250-251 in B Grzimek, ed. Grzimek's Encyclopedia of Mammals, Vol. 2, 2 Edition. New York: McGraw-Hill Publishing.
Stevenson, P., M. Castellanos, J. Pizarro, M. Garavito. 2001. Effects of Seed Dispersal by Three Ateline Monkey Species on Seed Germination at TiniguaNational Park, Colombia. International Journal of Primatology, 23: 1187-1204. Accessed February 12, 2004 at http://80-www.kluweronline.com.proxy.lib.umich.edu/issn/0164-0291/contents.
Stevenson, P., M. Quinones, J. Ahumada. 2000. Influence of fruit availability on ecological overlap among four neotropical primates at Tinigua National Park, Colombia. Biotropica, 3: 533-544.
Suarez, S. 2002. Behavioral ecology of the white-bellied spider monkey (Ateles belzebuth belzebuth) In Eastern Equador. American Journal of Primatology, 57/S1: 41.
Suarez, S. 2001. Feeding Patch Choice in Free-ranging Ateles belzebuth belzebuth: Implications for Cognitive Foraging Skills. American Journal of Primatology, 54: 41.