Colombian spider monkey
Ateles fusciceps robustus
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.
Spider monkeys can measure up to 54 centimetres (cm) in length, with tails up to 85cm. They can weigh up to nine kilograms.