Spider Monkey

Baby Spider Monkey: To Leap or Not to Leap

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Baby Monkeys who want to keep up with their older siblings must learn to let go – literally!  Leaping from branch to branch like a daredevil is an essential primate skill.  A Geoffroy’s Spider Monkey born on October 20 at Switzerland’s Zoo Basel is practicing the basics, but still takes refuge in the arms of mother Juanita.

The baby, whose gender is not yet known, cautiously practices walking on branches, but still prefers to hold on tight.  It will be many months before the baby is confident enough to play a game of chase with the other youngsters in the troop.

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Photo Credit:  Zoo Basel

Geoffroy’s Spider Monkeys live in rain forests and mangrove swamps from southern Mexico to Panama.  With long arms, they swing effortlessly among the branches, using their prehensile tails as extra “hands.”  In fact, Spider Monkeys often hang from their tails while eating leaves and fruits gathered in the forest.

Geoffroy’s Spider Monkeys are listed as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.  Habitat loss due to human activity is the primary cause of the shrinking population. Spider Monkeys are also illegally captured for the pet trade.

See more photos of the baby Spider Monkey below the fold.

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Good News! Critically Endangered Spider Monkey Born at Twycross Zoo

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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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Photo Credits: Gillian Day

Read more after the jump:

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Marvin the Spider Monkey Meets Life on White

ZooBorns is pleased to share brand new pictures from the Life on White team, which aims to create the largest collection of animals photographed on white backgrounds. Featured on ZooBorns a few months back, Marvin the Red-faced Spider Monkey was born in May at the UK's Twycross Zoo. Marvin is the third animal Life on White found here at ZooBorns. According to Monori: "Our photo sessions generally take place over one week. We travel with one or two assistants in our camping car (in Europe) from one photo shoot to another. All the animals are photographed in their own environment/home so that they do not suffer any stress linked to transport or to unknown environments."

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Marvin throwin' shapes...

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Keep up the great work Gabor!


Funky Bottle-Feeding Spider Monkey

This is Marvin, the new baby Red-faced Spider Monkey at the UK's Twycross Zoo. Born May 2, the tiny monkey is being hand-reared by the keepers. According to photographer Sypix, he seemed to be very attached to his pink blanket. Red-faced Spider Monkeys live up to thirty years in the wild and even longer in captivity. They are protected by the Amazon Animal Protection Act of 1973, although they are still listed as vulnerable to extinction.

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Dutiful Daughter Cares for New Baby Brother

Zoo Basel was the scene of high drama in late December when Spider Monkey mom, Quilimari, suffered complications during child birth. Too weak to care for her newborn, she was taken into the zoo veterinarians' care but the prospects for her tiny baby were tenuous, as baby monkeys without natural mothers have high mortality rates. 

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Luckily for all, the baby's young-adult older sister, Dicha, immediately jumped in, scooping up the baby and, surprisingly, nursing it like her own. How Dicha was able to nurse a baby immediately upon birth, while not pregnant or a recent mother herself, is a mystery. 

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When the mother was returned a few days later, the daughter dutifully returned her little brother to her mother's care. Now a month later, all is well. - Heroic older sis looking concerned below - 

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Tiny Spider Monkey Clings to Mom

Just three weeks old, the Palm Beach Zoo's new baby Mexican Spider Monkey clings tightly to mom, Raven. This species is critically endangered in its native home of Central America due to habitat destruction. Interestingly, spider monkeys have lost their thumbs over thousands of years of evolution. The remaining four fingers form a near perfect hook for swinging from branch to branch. 

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The Palm Beach Zoo's Director of Living Collections, Keith Lovett, serves as the manager for the Spider Monkey Species Survival Plan, directing captive breeding programs for Association of Zoo and Aquarium accredited insitutions. 

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