Peruvian spider monkey

Ateles chamek

SUBFAMILY

Atelinae

TAXONOMY

Simia chamek (Humbolt, 1812), Peru.

OTHER COMMON NAMES

English: Black-faced black spider monkey.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

Pelage and face is black, with a silvery genital patch and sometimes, white facial hairs.

DISTRIBUTION

Peru to the Rio Tapajos in Brazil. HABITAT

Primary tropical rainforest. BEHAVIOR

A study of Peruvian spider monkeys (previously, Ateles paniscus chamek) at Manu National Park, Peru, emphasized the fluidity of grouping patterns and sex differences in behavior. Males associate and groom with one another more than with females, and maintain hierarchical relationships. Males are dominant over females, and spend more time traveling and less time feeding than females. Encounters between males from different groups are hostile, and involve both vocalizations and chases.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Peruvian spider monkeys devote up to 80% of their feeding time to fruit. They supplement their diets with young leaves and flowers, as well as occasional insects. Like other species of spider monkeys, they adjust their grouping patterns to the size of fruit patches, and travel widely between dispersed patches of fruits. This results in large home ranges, long day ranges, and very fluid grouping patterns.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Polygamous. Birth intervals average about three years.

CONSERVATION STATUS Not listed by the IUCN.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS

Like other Atelidae, they are hunted for meat. ♦

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