Yucatan Spider Monkeys

Photo of Yucatan Spider Monkeys

Yucatan Spider Monkey


The Yucatan Spider Monkey (Ateles geoffroyi yucatanensis) is a subspecies of the Geoffroy’s Spider Monkey, known for its slender body and long, prehensile tail. Native to the Yucatan Peninsula, including parts of Belize, these primates are characterized by their black fur and agile, arboreal lifestyle.

Interesting Facts

  • Scientific Name: Ateles geoffroyi yucatanensis
  • Habitat: Inhabits the tropical rainforests of Belize, showcasing adaptability to diverse ecosystems.
  • Diet: Primarily herbivores, consuming fruits, leaves, and nuts; important for seed dispersal.
  • Behavior: Arboreal and social; use their prehensile tails for movement; crucial for maintaining biodiversity in Belize’s rainforests.

Fun Facts

  • Spider Monkeys have strong arms, legs, and a prehensile tail that can support their entire body weight, and can be used to grab and manipulate objects

  • A portion of their tail near the tip has no fur, and has thicker skin to help with grasping

  • Their hands have no opposable thumbs, which allow greater dexterity when swinging through the trees

  • Spider Monkeys each have unique hand, foot, and tail prints; they’re like a human fingerprint!

Belize Zoo Trivia

The spider monkeys at the Zoo often receive enrichment in the form of bamboo shoots with their favourite foods hidden inside. This “puzzle” is a great form of mental stimulation for intelligent primates, encouraging problem solving, and providing rewards and positive reinforcement

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