Geoffroy's Spider Monkey
New Zealand Status: Zoo Collection
Conservation Status: n/a
Ateles geoffroyi, Geoffroy's spider monkey, is also known as the black-handed spider monkey. Originating from Central America, there are at least five subspecies. It is one of the largest New World monkeys measuring between 300 and 630mm in length and weighing 6 to 9 kg. Males and females are approximately the same size. Its body color varies by subspecies and population so can be buff, reddish rust-brown or black. The hands and feet are dark or black. The face usually has a pale mask with bare skin around the eyes and muzzle.
Its arms and legs are slim, and its arms are about 25% longer than its legs. Its hands have only a vestigial thumb but long, strong, hook-like fingers. Its prehensile tail can support the entire weight of the monkey and is used as an extra limb. These adaptations allow the monkey to move by swinging by its arms beneath the tree branches.
© Geografpix Photography, Steve Reader