A Picture of a Spider Monkey

Spider Monkey Facts

  • Name: Spider Monkey
  • Genus: Ateles
  • Type Species: Simia paniscus
  • Total Species: 7
  • Lifespan: Up to 27 years (wild)
  • Diet: Omnivorous (plants and animal matter)
  • Range: South and Central America

16 Spider Monkey Facts for Kids

  1. The spider monkey is a common name for seven species and seven subspecies in the genus Ateles.
  2. Spider monkeys are classified as New World monkeys.
  3. Spider monkeys are native to both Central and South America.
  4. Spider monkey got their common name due to their long arms, legs and tail.
  5. Spider monkeys are omnivores, but up to 85% of their diet consist of fruit and nuts.
  6. Spider monkeys are diurnal, meaning they’re active during the day and sleep at night.
  7. The seven recognized species of spider monkeys are the black-headed spider monkey (A. fusciceps), brown spider monkey (A. hybridus), Geoffroy's spider monkey (A.geoffroyi), Peruvian spider monkey (A. chamek), red-faced spider monkey (A. paniscus),white-cheeked spider monkey (A. marginatus) and the white-fronted spider monkey (A. belzebuth).
  8. There are two subspecies of the black-headed spider monkey and they are the brown-headed spider monkey (A. f. fusciceps) and the Colombian spidemonkey (A. f. rufiventris).
  9. There are five subspecies of the Geoffroy's spider monkey and they are the hooded spider monkey (A. g. grisescens), Yucatan spider monkey (A. g. yucatanensis), Mexican spider monkey (A. g. vellerosus), Nicaraguan spider monkey (A. g. geoffroyi) and the ornate spider monkey (A. g. ornatus).
  10. The largest spider monkey is the black-headed spider monkey with an average weight of 24 pounds (male).
  11. Spider monkeys live in groups with between 15 to 25 monkeys, but they can get as big as 40 individuals.
  12. Unlike many other mammals that live in groups, the female chooses which male it will mate with.
  13. Whole seeds can be found in the feces (poop) of spider monkeys and can grow out from the feces.
  14. Studies have concluded that spider monkeys are the most intelligent monkeys out of all New World Monkeys.
  15. When comparing the equivalent size of brains to body size studies have shown that the spider monkey has a brain that is twice the size of a howler monkey’s brain.
  16. There are two species of spider monkeys that are considered critically endangered and they are the black-headed spider monkey and brown spider monkey.

Additional Resources on Spider Monkeys