Born December 8, these are the early pictures of a new baby Veriegated Spider Monkey at the UK's Twycross Zoo. This is the first Spider monkey baby born there in 10 years. And as you can see, the baby's mum takes good care to cradle her baby when outdoors. At times, the whole family gathers round while the baby sleeps, secure on it's mother's shoulder.
Veriegated Spider monkeys are critically endangered due to habitat loss, hunting and the pet trade and are listed as one of the 25 most endangered primates by IUCW. It's estimated that over 90% of their natural habitat in northern Columbia and north-western Venezuelais is already gone and of the approximately 60 Spider monkeys in Eurpoean zoos, there were no births in the year of May 2009-2010. That makes this baby a very valuable and important addition to the remaining population.
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This species, which are also called Brown Spider monkey, has an off-white belly and an unusual patch of white on the forehead. Another unusual trait - their eyes are often blue! They have very long limbs and a lengthy prehensile tail which can almost be considered a fifth limb. The tail is made of highly flexible, hairless tips with skin that makes a big difference in it's ability to grip tree branches. This is an adaptation that aids them tremendously in their arboreal locomotion through the trees.