Ecology[ edit ] White-bellied spider monkeys are important long-distance seed dispersal agents for many fruit-bearing species. Therefore, males in these groups are closely related to each other. They have a fairly dorsally placed scapula to allow for increased mobility involved in brachiation. Their prehensile tail with a hairless gripping pad at the end also allows for their mobility, which then means they have increased caudal vertebrae, with about 31 caudal vertebrae as opposed to another platyrrhine like Cebus with only 23 on average.
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Physical description[ edit ] Ateles hybridus from Venezuela Brown spider monkeys have long and thin limbs with their forelimbs being longer than their hind limbs. The tail has a highly flexible, hairless tip with skin grooves which improves grip. Their hands look slightly curvy and they have small thumbs.
All these features make it possible for them to climb trees at high elevations, hang and swing from one tree to another without often having to lower themselves to the ground. Adult males weigh between 7. Their coloration ranges from light brown to dark on upper parts including the head. Their most distinctive characteristic is a whitish triangular forehead patch, although not all spider monkeys have one.
Some few individuals have pale blue eyes. Since they like to forage in high canopies, they prefer undisturbed primary forests. This is because primary forests offer lifestyle they are comfortable in, for example endless canopies, tall trees, and many fruiting trees that disturbed forests do not offer.
Brown spider monkeys are mainly herbivores and frugivores. However, in drier seasons where fruit is less abundant, brown spider monkeys feed on leaves, seeds, flowers, bark, honey, decaying wood, and occasionally insects such as termites and caterpillars.
Scientists have observed spider monkeys eating soil and clay, and hypothesized that the reasons for this behavior could be to obtain minerals from the soil, for phosphorus , or in order to maintain a pH -balance in their digestive system. Brown spider monkeys are known to shake branches in order to ward off potential predators. It has been hypothesized that this anomaly is due to the sample being taken from El Paujil reserve, which is a protected area and may serve as refuge from other human activities, namely poaching.
This is the southernmost population of the brown spider monkey.
White-bellied spider monkey
Brown spider monkey