Black-Handed Spider Monkey – Ateles Geoffroyi
Habitat: Black-handed spider monkeys live in the rainforests in southern Mexico, high among the branches in the forest canopy. They live almost entirely in the trees, rarely descending to the ground.
Adaptations: Spider monkeys are amazing acrobats, and their entire body is geared towards climbing. Their most notable feature is the prehensile (hand-like) tail, which they can use as an extra limb while climbing. Equipped with a naked patch at the end for improved gripping, the tail can be used to reach out for branches, steady the monkey’s weight, or even pick up objects. The elongated arms and legs increase the monkey’s momentum as it swings through the trees, arm over arm, reaching speeds up to 15 miles per hour.
Diet: This species eats fruits, leaves, nuts, insects, arachnids and eggs.
Fun Fact: The name “spider monkey” refers to how the monkeys look like spiders when they hang from their tails with all four limbs extended. Spider monkeys live in social groups made up of approximately 30 individuals.