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Kirby: Female, born in 1986. She arrived at the Zoo on April 19, 2005 from Charles Paddock Zoo in Atascadero, California.
Desi: Male, born September 8, 1993 at San Diego Wild Animal Park. He arrived at the Zoo on April 12, 2005.
Spider monkeys are arboreal. They will more than likely be towards the top of their enclosure, so if you don't see them, look up.
Rare Animal Conservation Center
White-bellied spider monkeys are black with a paler brownish-white underside, hindlimbs, and base of the tail. They have long, slender limbs and extremely mobile shoulder joints, which allow for hand-over-hand swinging high in the trees. One-third of the population has a yellowish-brown or white triangular patch on the forehead.
A typical lifespan for white-bellied spider monkeys is 33 years in zoos and 27 years in the wild.
White-bellied spider monkeys are diurnal (active during the day) and arboreal (live in the trees). They travel and forage in the upper levels of the forest and they are highly suspensory (spend more time swinging by their arms and climbing than moving on all fours). They have communities comprised of groups of 3-22 individuals with a fission-fusion social structure, in which communities break into smaller subgroups of 3-4 individuals to forage.
Relative to their body size, spider monkeys mature late, having a long birth interval and gestation length not giving birth to their first infant until 7-8 years.
White-bellied spider monkeys measure 18.1-19.7in (46-50 cm) with tails measuring 29.1-31.9in (74-81cm).
Adult males average 18.3lb (8.3kg) and adult females average 17.4lb (7.9kg).
In the wild spider monkeys consume mainly fruit, but they will consume insects as well as other vegetation such as leaves and flowers. At the Zoo, the spider monkeys are offered a base diet of primate biscuit and canned primate food. Several different brands of biscuit are used in the diet to promote variety and maintain animal interest. The enrichment portion of the diet includes a variety of fruit, vegetables and leafy greens. The keepers offer a different assortment of approved dietary items each day.
High tropical rain forest and riverine, marsh, and semideciduous forests of Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, and Venezuela
On the 2011 IUCN Red List of Theatened Species, the white-bellied spider monkey is listed as Critically Endangered.
To learn more about the conservation efforts at the Philadelphia Zoo, click here.
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