- Common Name: White-cheeked Spider Monkey
- Taxonomy Classification Year: 1809
- Monkey Size: 34 to 51 cm (13 to 20 in)
- Skin Color(s): Dark brown or black
- Habitat: Rainforest
- Diet: Herbivorous
- Native Countries: Brazil
White-cheeked Spider Monkey Distribution
White-cheeked Spider Monkey Characteristics
The white-cheeked spider monkey (Ateles marginatus), also known as the white-whiskered spider monkey, is a New World Monkey native to the Amazon Basin of central Brazil.
- Its range is limited by the Xingu River, the Teles Pires River, the Tapajós River, and the Amazon River.
- They live in the highly biodiverse lush lowland rainforests for which the region is known. White-cheeked spider monkeys are primarily black or dark brown, with white fur on their chins, foreheads, and, as their name suggests, cheeks.
- Like all spider monkeys, they have incredibly long legs, arms, and a prehensile tail that helps them swing gently from branches.
- Spider monkey tails have more vertebrae than non-prehensile tails of other primates, and the vertebrae are smaller.
- As a result, the tail is more flexible and extends more than other primates’ tails.
- To help them keep their balance, the underside of their tail is furless and textured like a fingerprint; in fact, their tails are so helpful that they are often called the “fifth limb” or “third hand” of monkeys.
- Unlike most other primates, they do not have an external thumb but instead use their hands as hooks.
- This is actually a peculiar adaptation to their arboreal lifestyle: their ancestors had opposable thumbs, but spider monkeys evolved so that their thumb bones tapered, so they were not visible from the outside.
- Like other spider monkeys, white-cheeked spider monkeys do not exhibit much sexual dimorphism.
White-Cheeked Spider Monkey Facts
- White-cheeked spider monkeys are diurnal and exclusively arboreal. Consequently, they spend most of their lives in the upper levels of the canopy.
- These spider monkeys are known to be suspensive, meaning they spend most of their time hanging from branches.
- White-cheeked spider monkeys live in large groups with an average size of 25 individuals.
- They fend off predators by barking and shaking near branches. If the predator is not frightened by this, it breaks off and throws small branches at it.
- They are considered polygamous, with males mating with multiple females but females mating with only one male.
Suggested Reading: Different Breeds of Monkeys
Cite This Page
BioExplorer.net. (2023, June 05). White-cheeked Spider Monkey. Bio Explorer. https://www.bioexplorer.net/animals/mammals/monkeys/white-cheeked-spider-monkey/.
BioExplorer.net. "White-cheeked Spider Monkey" Bio Explorer, 05 June 2023, https://www.bioexplorer.net/animals/mammals/monkeys/white-cheeked-spider-monkey/.
BioExplorer.net. "White-cheeked Spider Monkey" Bio Explorer, June 05 2023. https://www.bioexplorer.net/animals/mammals/monkeys/white-cheeked-spider-monkey/.