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Colombian spider monkey

Ateles fusciceps robustus

Colombian spider monkey

The Colombian spider monkey is one of the largest of the New World monkeys and originates from the humid forests of Colombia and Panama. This black primate has long limbs, thumb-less hands and a prehensile tail which it can use for grasping, holding or hanging in the trees. It spends its days climbing and swinging through the upper levels of the canopy and with its long, slender limbs it can appear from a distance to resemble a spider (as the name suggests).

Spider monkeys fill an important ecological role in South America. The primates feed on fruits and, as they travel throughout the forest, they disperse undigested seeds through their manure. These seeds replenish the rainforest vegetation.

Animal class


Diet - Herbivore
Spider monkeys eat leaves and fruit.

Spider monkeys can measure up to 54 centimetres (cm) in length, with tails up to 85cm. They can weigh up to nine kilograms.

Spider monkeys are found in the tropical forests of western Colombia.

Conservation status
The IUCN believes that Spider monkeys are under a great risk of extinction in the wild. They are listed under Appendix II of CITES.

The forest habitat is continuously being destroyed for fuel, farmland and timber. These primates are also hunted for their meat.

Current population
There are no exact numbers of how many Colombian spider monkeys are left in the wild. However, they are declining.

Zoo population
There is an EEP for Colombian spider monkeys. There are 300 Columbian spider monkeys living in zoos across the world.