Common name: Black Spider Monkey
Scientific name: Ateles paniscus

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Primates
Family: Atelidae
Genus: Ateles
Species: A. paniscu

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The Ateles paniscus or black spider monkey is a unique animal and found only to certain part of the world.  It is one of the seven of its species. All of its cousins are found either in South or Central America.

The black spider monkey has glossy long black hair that covers them from head to toe, except for their faces. Their hair distinguishes them from other spider monkeys. “Adults have red or pink-skinned faces which are bare except for a very few short white hairs on their muzzles-which is one of their characteristics.  As an infant, they have darker skin than their parents; but as they age their faces lighten up to a pinkish color towards adulthood.  Spider monkeys are among the largest of the New World monkeys and are long-limbed.  They are somewhat gangly in their appearance especially in difference to their characteristic pot bellies; the spidery appearance of their long arms, legs, and tails is indicated by the common name.”      

    

Their diet/feeding habits are a dependent along with their habitat.  The black spider monkey is mainly found in moist evergreen forest of South America. They are found in high density rain forest areas which are not flooded by rivers during the wet season. Their role in the food web is just about simple, all they eat is mainly is fruit. They compete little with others, for as food is plentiful from February to June. But during the wet season there is little fruit.

The black spider monkey`s population (in total) is unknown. Their conservation status is vulnerable, which makes them easy to become extinct. As easily as it seems, their greatest threat is humans.  Several reasons contribute to their slow reproductive rates and slow population growth making them vulnerable and decreasing population by a slow percentage. We are their greatest predator.  Human activities such as hunting, harvesting and land expansion are some reasons on decreasing their population.

In conclusion, the black spider monkey is unique with it’s long arms and tail to evade any other dangers brought towards it.

Author: Jonathan S.

Published: 02/2011

Sources:
Cawthon Lang KA. 2007 April, 10 Primate Factsheets: Black spider monkey (Ateles paniscus) Taxonomy, Morphology, & Ecology.
<http://pin.primate.wisc.edu/factsheets/entry/black_spider_monkey>. Accessed 2011 February 11.

Photo Credit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red-faced_spider_monkey