Tiny Spider Monkey Clings to Mom
December 11, 2009
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.
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.
Critically Endangered Spider Monkey born at Palm Beach Zoo
Newborn joins baby Giant Anteater “E.O.” on exhibit
WEST PALM BEACH, FL. – Just three weeks old, the Palm Beach Zoo’s baby spider monkey can now be seen with her mother, Raven, at the Primate Island exhibit.
It is a busy weekend at the Palm Beach Zoo with visitors able to see the new baby spider monkey plus “E.O.” the seven-month old Giant Anteater which first arrived on exhibit during Thanksgiving weekend.
In addition, the Zoo is continuing its popular weekend Zoograss with music by Smiley Tunehead from noon to 3 p.m., Saturday and Sunday.
Holiday shoppers are also finding the Palm Beach Zoo to be a unique place for unusual gifts and shopping is made easy with the zoo’s online catalog which can be found at palmbeachzoo.org.
Zoo animal handlers are thrilled about the successful birth of the spider monkey. A critically endanger species, the birth is a tribute to the excellent animal care and expertise provided by zoo staff.
The baby’s mother, Raven gave birth high in the large ficus tree on Primate Island. The baby is clinging to his mom and successfully nursing. It is difficult at this stage of development to determine the sex of the baby but zoo experts believe the baby is a boy.
Raven was born at the Palm Beach Zoo on October 10, 1993. This is her first baby.
Meanwhile, seven-month old “E.O.” has finally left his mother’s side and now the young Giant Anteater is on exhibit in the Mayan Plaza. The successful birth of a giant anteater helps to populate this near-threatened species. E.O. was born to mother “Odelia” and dad, “Cruz.”
Giant anteaters have a two-foot-long tongue and large salivary glands that produce a sticky saliva that clings to ants, termites and other insects. The tongue also has backward pointing spines. Giant anteaters can flick their tongues 150 times a minute and can consume up to 30,000 ants a day which they grind with a very muscular stomach. Giant anteaters (Myrmecophaga tridactyla) are native to Central and South America.
E.O. is named for noted Harvard biologist and ant specialist, E.O. Wilson.